I LOVE scrapping but took quite some off from it for a number of reasons. Scrappin' was something I used to do to escape my far from perfect life. I haven't done much scrapbooking in the last three years. I had a GREAT day of shopping with one of my dearest friends, Paola, on Monday night. That adventure brought on a conversation with Marty about WHY I don't seem to sit and scrap anymore even though I "want" to. His thoughts were that it brings me back to a time in my life that I would like to keep in the past. BUT, that NOW it was time to capture the new memories that I have. Those that are amazing! I have Marty, a fabulous family, two nieces who are gifts from heaven, two furbabies, and more friends than I have ever had in my life.
Tonight, I had a musical experience that I simply can't compare to any other. As a musician since I was 10, I have had my share of concerts, etc. This evening, I shared in a musical journey that will impact me forever.
This evening students from the school where I teach, PS2X, in the South Bronx combined with students from The Rollings Middle School of the Arts from Summerville, South Carolina. The first obvious thing that you notice is how culturally diverse these two groups of children are. The magic happened when they sat at the piano and touched the keyboard. This concert was a true celebration of how music connects us regardless of race, religion or beliefs. It showed all of us that were there that music is a language of the soul and that if you allow it in, it can connect you to people that you have never met as well as those that you hold dear in your heart.
I was surrounded by the classical music of the children in the PS2 Keys 2 Success Program http://thekeys2success.org/ and the visitors from South Carolina. The audience jumped to their feet at a jaw-dropping performace by a young man named Lonnie Russell. We were dazzled by the magic of Christopher Yates. One moment that struck me was when the duet of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was happening. A chilling singer named DeQuincy Attiberry was accompanied by a young pianoist named Peyton Lehew. The young man on the piano struggled at points in the piece but somehow the two young men connected in a way that not only got them through the piece but put tears in my eyes. Music is powerful, it moves us.
I had the honor tonight of watching the face of Tom Hall, the music teacher from my school that puts his heart and soul into this group of children. I listened to the music and watched the show but really observed Tom. It made me reflect on some recent conversations that I have had with him about teaching in the Bronx and why we do it. These are the moments that make that all make sense. He wore his heart on his sleeve and the kids tickled the ivories in his honor.
My night ended with a surprise interview! The reporter wanted my views on the concert. The impromptu interview caused me to stubble at times. How do you put such an experience into words? Until they interviewed one of my very own students, Chayonne Lewis. At a young 4th grade age, he spoke with pride about how the program changed him. How when he is put into difficult situations, the "Keys" force him to think about how he should handle things. He spoke about how he ran with the "wrong crowd" and how he now has friends that are in the "keys". I stood there with my chin on the floor and in my mind thought about how he said everything that I was thinking.
So, thank you Alexei Nichols, Raun, Chayonne, the Keys 2 Success and of course, Tom Hall, for an experience I will never forget. I know this is one that I will reflect upon with great pride and the comfort in knowing that music bonds us. It soothes the soul and makes you dance. It knows no color, no violence and can touch us in a way that is hard to put into words.
Labels: Alexei Nichols, Bronx, Keys 2 Success, music, music education, PS2, Tom Hall
- Heidi signing on 3 new recruits during February! I am also so excited to have such an amazing and GROWING team! I am looking forward to bonding and sharing with each of you.
- Corris signing on Masika as a new member of our team. Corris is also using Stampin' Up! at her soapmaking meetup. This has been proving to be very successful.
- Paola has been working hard to make her meetup group and website personal to her members. She is adding topics to the message boards and sending out personal emails.
- Claudia is busy in Brooklyn! She has many events on her meetup calendar and has booked hotels for our stay this summer in Utah!
- Masika is new to the team and spent time at the meeting getting to know the members as well as share and get insight on her ideas as she starts her business.
- Melissa is also new to the team! We knew for quite some time that she would join us and I am SO thrilled to have her onboard. I am so excited to see what plans she has for SU!
If Stampin' Up! seems like a business that you would be interested in, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would be more than happy to help you to learn more about this amazing company.
Lil' Hunter and Bo have been entered into the Bissell National Competition. Please take a moment to vote for one of our babies! :)
Mecca is described as:
- A place that is regarded as the center of an activity or interest.
- A place visited by many people.
My dear friend, Corris, describes my craft room as the Stampin' Mecca. I would have to agree that it is the center of activities such as stamping, scrapping, music, laughter, barking, soapmaking, and most importantly, friendship and love. It is truly a place visited by many people for all of those reasons. We were at one point all strangers until the common bond of crafting initially brought us all together. We have formed a sisterhood (and welcome two fine men-Marty and Michael and two furry pups) that embraces our love of creating and grows because of all of the personal differences that we bring to the Mecca.