Monday, June 30, 2014

Playing For Change Band

The PFC Band started their 2014 Peace Through Music US Tour at the beginning of June, bringing the message of Love and Peace through music to everyone who will listen. This is an exciting time for PFC and for music lovers across the globe, with the start of an incredible tour and upcoming release of our new album, PFC3 Songs Around The World, on June 17th!!

One World One Voice One Day

JOIN THE GLOBAL EVENT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH MUSIC ON SEPT. 20TH Musicians and music lovers will gather on stages, street corners, and schools for a global day of action to bring music into the lives of children and to promote positive social change everywhere. Join the movement!

Peace Begins with You

This is one video in TPRF's "Peace for People 2013" campaign in honor of International Peace Day on September 21. Prem Pal Singh Rawat is an Indian American also known as Maharaji, and formerly as Guru Maharaj Ji and Balyogeshwar. Rawat teaches a meditation practice he calls "Knowledge". In 2001 he established "The Prem Rawat Foundation" to fund his work and humanitarian efforts. Rawat continues to speak for large and/or select audiences worldwide, and on several occasions has received significant recognition for his work and message of peace.

Jeremy Gilley in Conversation with Prem Rawat. Recently, these two active peacemakers — Jeremy Gilley, founder of Peace One Day, and Prem Rawat — engaged in a profound conversation about their lives and their work, comparing notes on their experiences as advocates of peace and agreeing that every person can be a part of making peace a reality. This 28-minute video based on that conversation was broadcast on UN Peace Day to approximately 25 million people on TV across the world.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sport & Art for Peace

"I believe that investing in children could build a better future." -- Jean Bosco Bakunzi
At the beginning of May 500 Children played soccer for Peace in Rwanda. It is the tournament's third year of existence, the first having been held in November 2011 at the Regionale Stadium, still in Nyamirambo. Visual artiste Jean Bosco Bakunzi is the brainchild of the Youth Football for Peace Tournament, a sister project of his Uburanga Arts Studio."One of our goals at Uburanga Arts Studio is to contribute to our community by encouraging the youth to be more creative and look forward to a bright future!" says Bakunzi. He reveals that the idea of the tournament was inspired by his early childhood experience of playing football on the street."I am always touched when I pass by kids doing the same thing. However we have seen many situations where someone grows up without any hope but ends up playing for a bigger team like Chelsea FC. I believe Art can bring hope to many kids who love soccer.""At Uburanga Arts Studio, our dream is to inspire children. It is our dream that all children will grow up loving their skills and working hard to make their dreams come true. I then decided to work on building a small football tournament. I knew it would be a great thing to do that could bring many children together and play peacefully."
-- read full article here

Not sure if this documentary was ever completed, but clearly sport can save lives as much as art!!

A Generation After Genocide Extended Teaser Trailer from Jon Weiman on Vimeo.

One Day One Choir

One Day One Choir is an exciting new initiative which uses the harmonious and inclusive power of choral singing to promote peace and unity on Peace Day, 21 September. Anybody, young or old, amateur or professional, wherever they are, can get involved with One Day One Choir and all kinds of choral events are welcome!
Whether you want to create an event - short or long, formal or flash mob - or dedicate something you are already singing in - a concert, a celebration or a church service - use your voice in harmony with others to sing out and spread the message of peace. Be part of a worldwide choir for peace!
If you are a school - why not sing in the week leading up to the day to spread the word about Peace Day? Want some inspiration? Watch PS22 Chorus and Matisyahu "ONE DAY"

-- read more on Peace One Day website
-- How-to Guide

Friday, June 27, 2014

The importance of Peace Education

"Why are we violent but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read" -- David Allan

"Studying nonviolence is not for the faint or weak of heart, nor conformists or the close-minded; instead, it is for those who are intellectually brave, spiritually alive, socially engaged and lovers of long-shots."-- Colman McCarthy

Author, Washington Post journalist, professor and founder of the Center for Teaching Peace, Colman McCarthy speaks about the need to teach peace and the principles of nonviolence in schools.

Colman McCarthy: The Importance Of Teaching Peace, Part One from FootprintVideo on Vimeo.

Painting for Peace

"If we don't teach our kids peace someone else will teach them violence" -- Colman McCarthy

A short film by Nina Constable. An ACTED and AptArt project with the support of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department and UNICEF.

ACTED is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Paris, founded in 1993. Independent, private and not-for-profit, ACTED respects a strict political and religious impartiality and operates according to principles of non-discrimination and transparency.
AptART aims to empower marginalized children through art to express themselves as well as build awareness and promote prevention of issues affecting their lives. It is an organisation of artists, activists and educators engaging vulnerable children in art. Through workshops and murals youth are empowered with an outlet to express themselves, build awareness and promote prevention about issues affecting their lives.
Very inspiring.

Another short film by Messrs - The young street artists of Za'atari camp

Where Is The Love?

What's wrong with the world, mama / People livin' like they ain't got no mamas / I think the whole world addicted to the drama / Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma...
Madness is what you demonstrate / And that's exactly how anger works and operates / Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight / Take control of your mind and meditate / Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all
People killin', people dyin' / Children hurt and you hear them cryin' / Can you practise what you preach? Or would you turn the other cheek?
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity / Whatever happened to the fairness and equality / Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity / Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity -- Where is the Love, The Black Eyed Peas

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Songs for Peace

"Songs for Peace is creating a worldwide community of peace seekers. Everyone's invited. Let's shift the focus to peace, not war. To harmony, not conflict. To love, not hate. Peace begins with you." ​
-- Dr. George Barkett 

Songs For Peace© is an international songwriting contest. It begins online when people submit their original peace songs, and progresses as others vote on the songs, and finally a panel of judges reviews the highest rated songs.By involving people throughout the world in composing songs about peace, voting for their favorite songs about peace, and attending concerts of the world's musicians performing the winning songs, millions of people will be simultaneously focused on peace. The main goal is to provide a worldwide platform for all peoples-regardless of race, religion, age, sex, or nationality-to harness the power and beauty of music to create an all-encompassing force for peace throughout the world (read more here)

Michel's story

"I want to turn back time. But I can't" says 13-year-old Michel. He is from San Roque in the Philippines, where he lost his school and his beloved teacher to Typhoon Haiyan.
Voices of Children is a project created by the European Union and UNICEF to help raise the voices of children who are living through humanitarian emergencies, and who are not being listened to. LEND THEM YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA VOICE, SO THAT THEY CAN SHARE THEIR STORIES THROUGH YOU. Go here to lend your voice.
-- Go to UNICEF and EU

Children express themselves through photography

In Chad, 20 vulnerable children from different walks of life -- including children living in orphanages and others displaced by conflict -- had the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop. Guided by UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi, the participants not only learned about camera functionality and photography, but they also had a unique opportunity to express themselves and show others their daily lives. Nice project, realities perceived through the children's eyes.

Arts build peace

In Sierra Leone Ibrahim, 17, and his fellow actors are part of a Theatre for Development group that created a play that challenges the culture of violence and corporal punishment and encourages peacebuilding. The group is supported by UNICEF's Learning for Peace programme.
To learn more about UNICEF's Learning for Peace programme, visit:
For more about UNICEF's work, visit:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We don't need no trouble

"That until there is no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation;  until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes - Me say war...That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race - Dis a war "

Monday, June 23, 2014

Creating innovators

"The world does not care what you know, what the world care is what you can do with what you know. Do you have the skill, do you have the will?"
Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and five books. Tony’s latest, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2012 to rave reviews and has been translated into ten languages.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kids and music make the world a happy place

The Webby Award-winning PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. They are an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in Staten Island, New York. PS22 is NOT a school for the arts, and the chorus is not a magnet program. PS22 Chorus just features ordinary children achieving extraordinary accomplishments -- musically and otherwise.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Seth Godin on Education Reform

Seth Godin (American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker) interviewed by Graham Brown-Martin about education reform.

Children of Peace

"If all children in Congo can go to school this war will end"

After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, the EU decided to more than double their €930,000 prize, and put the money towards educating children in conflict affected countries. This film shows the work of two of the projects which benefitted from this; the Norwegian Refugee Council's work to help displaced children in Masisi, DRC, return to school, and Save the Children's work with children who have fled Somalia to refugee camps across the border in Ethiopia.

Peace One Day’s focus between 2014 and 2016 is also a major campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region of Africa (focusing on Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania), made possible by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The campaign seeks to engage with all sectors of society in the region, encouraging all parties and coalitions to stand together in the name of peace, so that a significant level of non-violence and ceasefire (in conflict-affected areas) can be achieved on Peace Day by 2016 at the latest.
-- watch Jeremy Gilley's third feature-length documentary on POD

Artists for Peace and Justice

Artists for Peace and Justice supports communities in Haiti through programs in education, healthcare, and dignity through the arts. With your help they are removing the barriers that poverty poses to a future of opportunity for children in Haiti. They are committed to long-term, sustainable development in direct partnership with the Haitian people. Their model is simple: they believe in empowering local communities, fostering economic growth, and the power of education to change a nation.

Friday, June 20, 2014

One Day

All my life I've been waiting for 
I've been praying for 
For the people to say 
That we don't wanna fight no more 
There will be no more wars 
And our children will play 
One day

One day this all will change 
Treat people the same 
Stop with the violence 
Down with the hate 

One day we'll all be free 
And proud to be 
Under the same sun 
Singing songs of freedom like 
One day

Matthew Paul Miller, known by his Hebrew name and stage name Matisyahu, is an American reggae rapper and alternative rock musician.
-- One Day (YouTube Version)
-- One Day on MTV News

Music & Art on a Path to World Peace

"It is really not a system of thought, music is the language of the soul as is poetry, as are many of the arts" - Deepak Chopra

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music." - W. Shakespeare

Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American author, public speaker and licensed physician. A prominent alternative-medicine advocate and author of several dozen books and videos, he has been described as a New-Age guru and is one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in the holistic-health movement. Addressing the members of the World Peace Orchestra, he discusses the role of music and art on creating a path to world peace.

World Peace Orchestra

Founded in New York in 2013, the World Peace Orchestra is a unique nonprofit organization that encourages the growth of budding musical talent in youth from around the world. WPO celebrates the unity and diversity of global culture through their annual concert featuring over 134 young musicians from 50 countries playing both ethnic and classical instruments. As the only truly global youth orchestra, their mission is to promote peace and understanding through the unifying power of music. They strive to cultivate a new, compassionate generation of leaders who understand that borders, oceans, languages, and cultures cannot break the fundamental bonds of humanity. By exposing underprivileged youth to musical education and opportunities, WPO seeks to inspire hope, open up new horizons, and create a generation fluent in the universal language of music.
This is very inspiring!
-- go to WPO youtube

Thursday, June 19, 2014

We Must Celebrate Innovators

"I'm an acute observer of trends in cultures, because some trends are away from innovation. And if it's away from innovation and creativity, then problems you already know exist, and especially problems that you don't know will yet arise, can be the unweaving of your civilization, and I don't want to be in that world."
In this interview Neil deGrasse Tyson (see short bio in previous post) says that we must return to celebrating those who combine creativity with science and discovery, or we risk falling into an intellectual tailspin that might prove irreversible."Their activities should be cherished. These are the people we should hold up high. We should build statues to those people. We used to. Those are the folks who advance frontiers. The inventors, the explorers, the discoverers, the innovators...These are the people who shape civilization. If you don't cultivate and nurture that, you might as well just move back into the cave, because that's where we're going to end up without it."
We believe this applies to everything and education can play a big role in it.

-- If you do not see the video below you can watch it here
-- read article on Adweek

How schools are failing

"The only way you can invent tomorrow is if you break out of the enclosure that the school system has provided for you by the exams written by people who are trained in another generation".
"The system of education rewards high GPAs, but the system of life rewards tenacity, rewards your urge to tackle something you have never seen before...and even if you don't succeed in that tenacity to have the energy to go back and try again."

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.
In this clip Neil speaks some of his views on America's education system and the flaws he sees. The US school systems are valuing the wrong things...

Here Neil speaks at McMenamin's Bagdad Theater in Portland Oregon on September 22, 2009. An audience member asks Mr. deGrasse Tyson what advice he would give to public school science educators. He responds with a rant on the education system in America and how the system has eviscerated all the passion, beauty, and joy out of learning. Great communicator.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A beautiful poem

Peace is possible.
Make peace an attitude. Want it.
Make peace a habit. Live it.
Make peace a reality. Share it.
Peace is possible.
Make peace matter. Our matter.
Make peace a priority. Our priority.
Make peace a choice. Our choice.
Peace is possible.
We must Think gently, Speak gently, Live gently.
Peace is possible.
Be happy with who you are.
Be happy with who others are.
Be happy that we Are.
Peace is possible.
Role model acceptance. Love others.
Role model forgiveness. Encourage others.
Role model tolerance. Treasure others.
Peace is possible. Peace is possible. Peace is possible

~ Mattie J. T. Stepanek, May 12, 2002
In Reflections of a Peacemaker: A Portrait Through Heartsongs

December Prayer shared by Nile Rodgers

December Prayer by Mattie J.T. Stepanek shared by musician Nile Rodgers for a global peace activity by the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation.
Jimmy Carter called Mattie J.T. Stepanek “the most remarkable person” he has ever known. A congressional resolution was passed in his honor after he died, and a flag was flown over the US Capitol to honor his great contributions to society. All this, and more, in honor of a child who died just before his 14th birthday due to a rare neuromuscular disease, but who left a legacy that continues to grow and inspire people. A legacy of hope and peace, guided by a simple, clear, and achievable message rooted in personal choices.

Peace One Day - ART PROJECT 2014

The Peace One Day 2012 art project was a big success, raising almost £450,000 and incredible levels of awareness for Peace One Day’s work in 2013. The creative community has a key role to play and a voice that can be heard, using their influence to help increase awareness and raise funds.
For 2014, curated again by leading contemporary artist Jake Chapman, Peace One Day is asking artists to use decommissioned M16 assault rifles to produce artwork, thereby continuing the story of taking objects of war and using them in support of peace. The Exhibition is confirmed to take place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts during Frieze week from Monday 13th October to Friday 19th October.
-- Go to AKA Peace 2012
-- Read about AKA Peace 2014 on The Telegraph

AKA PEACE from Mercer on Vimeo.

A New Hope for Peace: It's Not a Fairytale

"Hope is very real, because hope is an attitude that moves us through this moment and into whatever the next moment may or may not be. An attitude is always our choice. So hope begins with an attitude, a choice..but sometimes it is the hardest choice to make."
"Conflict is natural...what's not natural, not healthy, not necessary is to resort to violence to solve our conflicts and disagreements. Peace begins within each one of us when we are ok with who we are as a person." 
"Peace is possible but like Hope we must each choose to make it something that matters".

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Jeni Stepanek, an award winning writer, is a noted advocate for childrens, patients and families need and rights in health and education, and author of the new book Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs. Jenis message about disability, hospice, family support, parenting, writing, motivation and spirituality has been carried by all media outlets. Like her son, the late bestselling poet Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Jeni is forced to battle a rare neuromuscular disease. A noted guest on Good Morning America, Oprah, Larry King and The MDA Labor Day Telethon, Mattie created poetry from age 3 until he passed away in 2004 at age 13.
-- Listen to For Our World by Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Interesting insight (Della Palacio)
"Instead of No bullying, let's shift the focus in schools to Peace. Let us teach peace explicitly in every school. Parents and teachers will tell you that teaching a child what TO do is much more impactful than telling the child what NOT to do. So, let's shift the paradigm in schools. Instead of anti-bullying programs, let's begin to teach peace, explicitly and directly."


TeachUNICEF is a portfolio of free global education resources. Resources cover grades PK-12, are interdisciplinary (social studies, science, math, English/language arts, foreign/world languages). The lesson plans, stories, and multimedia cover a wide variety of topics. Their mission is to support and create well-informed global citizens who understand interconnectedness, respect and value diversity, have the ability to challenge injustice and inequities and take action in personally meaningful ways. They hope that in providing engaging and academically rich materials that offer multiple voices, they can encourage the exploration of critical global issues while presenting opportunities to take action.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kids for Global Peace

"You are a unique person / There's no one else like you / You belong to a race called humanity / It's all part of your identity / Identity / You've the right to an identity / Since you're a part of humanity / You've the right to an identity"

"It don’t matter who you are / Everybody near and far /You’ve got rights / We’ve got rights / Everybody’s got their human rights."

KIDS FOR GLOBAL PEACE is an new program that is designed to teach young people about Human Rights, Human Dignity & Respect, and Peaceful Conflict Resolution. Nice!

Elton John - Music Crosses All Boundaries

"Music is the common denominator amongst us all, it is the common denominator that whether you are catholic, protestant, muslim or hindu, you can all relate to the same piece of music, whatever colour your skin is, whatever sexuality you are, you can all come together in one place and celebrate joy with music and not think of the other consequences that might have brought you there. That is an amazing power, the power of music is one of the most positive things in the world, if not the most positive thing."
Elton John delivered a speech at the Royal Academy of Music in October 2013, at the arrival and installation of the Sir Elton John and Ray Cooper Organ in Duke's Hall. In this edited version, Elton talks about music as humanity's common denominator, and how it crosses all boundaries.
Nice speech Sir.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Holding Schools Accountable for the Creativity of their Students

The real value of arts education is to transmit the key ideas of human civilization from one generation to the next. Without the arts, we would not understand our own history. However, the arts remain marginalized in our schools, despite the hunger of teachers to offer a well-rounded curriculum. In low-performing schools, a climate of fear has sucked the joy and engagement out of learning as we focus purely on reading and match scores. Teachers however long for the freedom to offer inspiring and fun curriculum. What if a "creativity index" measured the success of teaching the arts in schools, as is now being tried in some states? What if teachers could win awards for having the most creative students?
Mark Slavkin is Vice President for Education at the Music Center Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, where he directs programs aimed at advancing arts education in schools across L.A. County. Mark serves on the Executive Committee for "Arts for All," a coalition bringing the arts back to the core K-12 curriculum.

Mark Rivera on music in schools

"Brooklyn in the 60' were either a hitter or a rocker..the guys carried knives I carried a saxophone and a guitar...Music is an outlet whether you are 5, 55 or 95.. and if you are performing it I think it is the most powerful thing..there is nothing more visceral than singing or playing an instrument and is like breathing"
Mark Rivera plays and tours with some of the biggest names in music, including Ringo Starr and Billy Joel, as a musical director and side man. He attended the School of Performing Arts in NY (FAME), gives a lot of his time to mentoring kids and is a big advocate for music education.

Gregg Rolie (Santana and Journey) on music

"Music is here (heart) more than it is here (brain) almost don't know where the ideas come from, it is like you are channeling them...Learning how to play any instruments whatsoever is good for your soul, it is good for your heart, it can take you somewhere else other than this (texting)...I can just sit down and play something..and I go somewhere else...sometimes I just tinker on it, but it is good for you, and it feels good...My point is they are taking art and music out of schools and replacing it with what?"
Gregg Rolie, founding member of Santana and Journey discusses the need for music education.

Friday, June 13, 2014



-- go to Pablo Stanley's website

Paul Stanley (Kiss) on music

"Reading, writing and math, they are all important, but music takes everything at a spiritual level..that is what sometimes is can't overemphasize how important music is in people's lives..I would not be here without it."

Paul was back stage prior to Ringo Starr's performance in Las Vegas. He offered to step in front of the cameras, making an enthusiastic statement about the importance of music education, including some childhood memories.

Peace Train

"Now I've been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is 
Why must we go on hating, why can't we live in bliss 
 Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train 
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again"

Yusuf Islam, formerly known by his stage name Cat Stevens is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam. As "Cat Stevens," Islam has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including the 2004 Man for Peace award and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Steve Lukather (Toto) on music education

As a current member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, Steve sat down to talk about his experience with music education, how it transformed his life and the importance of teachers and providing music education opportunities for kids today.

The All-Starr Band supports Music Education!

Steve Lukather, Richard Page, Greg Rolie, Mark Rivera, Greg Bissonette - and Ringo on behalf of the Spirit of Harmony Foundation discuss the importance of music education to them and to today's youth.

Ringo Starr on The Importance of Music Education

"I fully agree and would love that schools were more involved in presenting music to the is also a great instrument for peace and love"

Supportive of the mission of Todd Rundgren's Spirit of Harmony Foundation, Ringo discusses the importance of Music Education to today's youth.

The Spirit of Harmony Foundation, Todd Rundgren's philanthropic organization, supports the moral imperative of music education and music performance. The Foundation nurtures the cultural, academic, social, neurological, and personal benefits of music, through fundraising, special events, mentoring, advocacy, social entrepreneurship, and strategic partnerships.The Spirit of Harmony Foundation is based on the universally accepted concept that music is an integral element of the human experience, instrumental in the development of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and the formation of life skills.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Song of Peace

"This is my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for lands afar and mine; this is my home, the country where my heart is; here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine: but other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine... May truth and freedom come to every nation; may peace abound where strife has raged so long; that each may seek to love and build together, a world united, righting every wrong; a world united in its love for freedom, proclaiming peace together in one song." -- complete text here

A bit of history...The Finlandia Hymn refers to a serene hymn-like section of the patriotic symphonic poem Finlandia, written in 1899 and 1900 by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It was later re-worked by the composer into a stand-alone piece. "This Is My Song"is a 1934 hymn written by Lloyd Stone (1912-1993) using the Finlandia Hymn melody composed by Jean Sibelius. It is sometimes called "A Song of Peace" which is taken from the second line of the song.
There are different versions, we like this performance best ("Song of Peace" by Jean Sibelius, arranged by Gary Fry)

This is truly beautiful.

Cool art project

Take a look at Buckingham Palace as you've never seen it before! More than 200,000 young people created self portraits for Face Britain. From the 19th to the 21st April 2012 these self portraits were projected onto Buckingham Palace, putting young people at the forefront of the London 2012 and Jubilee celebrations.
-- go to Face Britain

Adrian Lester speaks about the importance of the Arts

Adrian Lester speaks to Children and the Arts at Buckingham Palace. Here he is in rehearsal, in the run up to the charity's gala evening at Buckingham Palace in February. They ask Adrian about his early experiences of the arts, how he became a performer, and why children should be given access to the arts.

Children and the Arts

"I created my Foundation for Children and the Arts because of a fundamental belief that everyone should have the opportunity at an early age to be inspired by the arts."
- HRH The Prince of Wales
Children and the Arts was established by HRH The Prince of Wales and engages with disadvantaged children nationwide who do not have access to high-quality arts activity because of either social or economic barriers. Through a network of partners we use the arts as a platform to inspire and enable personal and social development amongst those who are hardest to reach. Through their work children learn that cultural venues are welcoming, accessible and exciting places to visit.
-- watch The Prince of Wales and Education and Young People

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peace To The World

"Every man and woman 
Girl or boy 
Lets all get together 
And bring peace to the world"

Originally recorded by blues legend BB King for his Live at San Quentin CD, composed, arranged & produced by Trade Martin. The CD which included Trade's song "Peace to the World" captured the best blues album award at the Grammy's.

Changing Schools, Changing Knowledge

Another interesting interview with Athabasca University's George Siemens.
While more and more knowledge is available to us, the amount of time for us to pay attention to it remains the same. What kind of knowledge will be needed in the future, and how are we going to be acquiring it?  Siemens tells Steve Paikin how educational institutions are contending with these challenges.


"Education has in the words of Edgar Morin one vital task: to prepare individuals for the vital combat for prepare individuals to be a part of society, to prepare individuals to contribute, to create, to share, to interact."
George Siemens is Founder and President of Complexive Systems Inc., a learning lab focused on assisting organizations develop integrated learning structures to meet the needs of global strategy execution. He is the originator of Connectivism theory and author of the article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book Knowing Knowledge - an exploration of the impact of the changed context and characteristics of knowledge. Connectivism is a hypothesis of learning which emphasizes the role of social and cultural context. "In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community...In the connectivist model, a learning community is described as a node, which is always part of a larger network. Nodes arise out of the connection points that are found on a network. A network is comprised of two or more nodes linked in order to share resources..." (read more here)
Siemens is actively involved in researching social media and networked technologies at the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University.
"As a concluding thought, my view is that the primary task of education in the future is to collapse its functions, its curriculum, its teaching methods, its very mode of enquiry down to the point of connectedness, why do connections form, what patterns do they leave when they form, what is the ultimate impact of that, how do we foster that as educators, how do we create structures that permit individuals to not be better corporate citizens but how we create that so that we have students and learners that leave our class spaces who are better citizens, who are better members of society, because to CHANGE EDUCATION is TO CHANGE SOCIETY"
Very complex but interesting and brilliant presentation.
-- go to George's blog
-- read about connectivism here
-- Networked Student

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Darren Percival (the Voice Australia) and music education

Singer and musician Darren Percival provided the lead voice in the MCUI song for 2013, Keep On. Here he speaks about the importance of music in his own school education and for children and young people in general. He was runner up on the 2012 edition of The Voice Australia.
-- read about Darren on Daily Telegraph

Bernie Taupin on his Music Education

Not to encourage this...but good for him!
In a rare interview, long-time Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin discusses Elton John's 'The Diving Board' and his own musical education.
Bernard John "Bernie" Taupin is an English lyricist, poet, and singer, best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John, writing the lyrics for the majority of the star's songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock's history.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Why Kids Love Art

Listen to what students say about why art is important to them...
Art in Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated since 1982 to bringing visual arts education to the classroom. Art in Action fosters the educational development and creativity of children across America through innovative visual arts programs and communities. They believe that a quality art education is critical for every student's preparation for success in the 21st century, and they actively assist schools in implementing a comprehensive, standards based visual art program.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

How mind and music mate

"Without music, life would be a mistake."- Friedrich Nietzsche

From a few years back...still interesting research.
Neuroscience is proving that music is essential to our lives, thanks to new technology, and curious scientists and musicians who want to understand the connection between the brain and music. Sting is one musician in particular who wanted to know what goes on inside his head when playing and listening to music. The iconic singer-songwriter volunteered to be a guinea pig for the documentary, The Musical Brain, which delves into what happens when mind and melody meet.
-- read more on the Vancouver Sun
-- Get the Musical Brain on iTunes
Watch The Musical Brain below - if you can't see it please click here

Watch The Musical Brain in Educational & How-To  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

War divides Music connects

Musicians without Borders (MwB), established in 1999, is a global network organization using the power of music for healing and reconciliation in areas torn by war and conflict. Musicians without Borders develops projects in response to local needs and in cooperation with local musicians and civil society organizations. Successful projects are used to develop models, methodologies and trainings suitable for use in other regions.
-- browse MWB projects

"We create music from anything, and we create it from silence! We play music in a relaxing atmosphere, complete freedom; at the end nothing makes me happier than seeing a smile on an oppressed kid’s face." - Music workshop leader from al-Azzeh refugee camp

"Music is a symbol of friendship in our country. It helps us to be released from depression in order to have a better future. I think we will learn how to show others who are HIV+ that they have a value for themselves and for their country." - Aime, youth leader at WE-ACTx

Peace through Music

Playing For Change: Peace Through Music is a story of hope, struggle, perseverance and joy. Directors Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls, along with the Playing For Change team, traveled the globe with a single minded passion to connect the world through music. Their ambitious journey took them from post-apartheid South Africa, through the ancient sites of the Middle East, to the remote beauty of the Himalayas and beyond. Using innovative mobile technology, they filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors in parks, plazas and promenades, in doorways, on cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. Each captured performance creates a new mix in which essentially the artists are all performing together, albeit hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Playing For Change: Peace Through Music is the story of this unparalleled international musical collaboration and its remarkable power of redemption.
-- go to Play for Change website
-- view Play for Change events

Monday, June 02, 2014

Esperanza Spalding on jazz & music education

"That music (improvised) really connected with my being..and then I got that itch to really study that music and learn more about it...I still have the itch.."
"You can have a solo career meaning you have your own gigs, but that's 1/10th or even less of what the music is playing with everybody all the time.."
"Music education is a MUST for children, first of all just for young people for the development of the mind...have an opportunity to explore the cause and effects of creativity, creative exploration, creative diligence.."
JazzTimes In Person interview with bassist/singer/bandleader Esperanza Spalding from backstage at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival, presented by Natixis. In this segment, Spalding talks about her jazz and music education, about her teachers and mentors and about her own experience as a teacher and mentor. Very gracious lady.

Esperanza Spalding - We Are America from ESP Media on Vimeo.

Wynton Marsalis on Music Education

"I believe you can reach. If you fall short I am here for you, but we will reach, we are going up higher, we are going to learn this music, we are going to play this hard piece, we are going to practice on this... we are going to keep going.."
The National Association for Music Education's (NAfME) Digital Communications Manager, Nelson Duffle, interviews trumpeter, composer, music educator, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center - Wynton Marsalis. They discuss the importance of music education, the challenges that music teachers face today in public schools, and Mr. Marsalis' own musical upbringing.

"Invest yourself in everything you do. There’s fun in being serious."

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Good idea

Disney artists transforms the Conn-Selmer, Inc. donated instruments into one-of-a-kind works of art.