Between getting dressed, eating breakfast, making sure last night’s homework was completed and catching an early morning school bus, children and parents alike often experience chaotic mornings before the school day even begins.
Thousands of Cincinnati-area students are beginning their school days with 4 minutes of quiet reflection and music as part of the Mindful Music Moments program, created by educator and author Stacy Sims.
Sims, whose work involves programs intended to encourage meaningful social engagement, has designed programs such as MMM to counter the challenging behaviors that educators often find in children – behaviors that are usually rooted in things such as anxiety and depression. Just 4 minutes of practicing mindfulness through listening to music and meditation can help children to calm down and regroup before their long day ahead.
Due to the typical school day’s hectic and overcrowded schedule, MMM was initially met with concern from parents. “One day, I heard the morning announcements, and it dawned on me – this would be the perfect time,” says Sims.
Only 4 minutes at the beginning of the day, before the overcrowded school schedule begins, could make all the difference in a child’s day.
Meet Camryn Cowan and Jordan Millar, 2 composers whose works were performed this Summer in Central Park by the New York Philharmonic as part of their outdoor concert series. There were tens of thousands of audience members, and they received a glowing review by the New York Times.
Here’s the twist – they are only 11 years old!
Camryn and Jordan are students of the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program, where they composed their works for a Harlem Renaissance-themed program earlier in the year.
Through this program, students start from scratch – learning the very basics of music – before eventually graduating to writing complex scores. In the process, they learn to become leaders. “They have to defend their pieces”, says founder Jon Deak. According to Mr. Deak, all children are creative. “People ask whether I’ve found the next little Mozart, and I say yes, I’ve found dozens of them,” he said. “They’re all over the place. We just need to listen to them.”
Click to read more about Camryn, Jordan and the Very Young Composers program!
Our longtime teacher Elizabeth is performing this summer in “Demon”, Anton Rubinstein’s 1871 opera that was once Russia’s most popular one. Click to read about the production, which is taking place in Bard College’s SummerScape festival.