Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Healing Power of Art

CHAP (Children’s Healing Art Project) brings the healing power of art to children in crisis through a mobile team of teaching artists working in a partnership with hospitals, community organizations and schools. At CHAP, children are known for their creativity and ingenuity—not by their disease, diagnosis or disability. CHAP's innovative healing arts programs reach critically ill, chronically ill and disabled children (and their loved ones) with programs that strengthen encourage and inspire.
-- Watch "The Power of Art: Can creativity cure the sick?" on BBC
-- Learn about CHAP on Comcast Newsmakers

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The difference that art makes

Can Art make a difference in children? Can adults learn anything from art?
Shai Dahan is an an artist and muralist, philantropist, and entrepreneur. Born in Israel and raised in the USA, his passion for visual art became well known throughout the region. His most notable works include the Dala Horses, an ambitious street-art campaign. He was praised with a variety of awards and has been featured in multiple publications and exhibitions internationally.
With the TEDx keynote featured below, Shai gives a unique talk about his public-art projects and how art helps make a difference for children from South Africa to Palestine to Sweden. With his work in the township of Langa for Project Playground, to curating one of Sweden's first large-scale Street-Art "No Limit Festival", he has worked hard at trying to change public spaces and the lives of youth around the world.  Here he explores how important art education can be and gives us an insightful look into our own individual ability to making a difference.

In May 2012, Shai has traveled to a conflict-driven region of Israel to take part of a creative collaboration and an art journey. As he became part of this journey, Shai realized that this project was more than just drawing a painting on a wall. It became a journey for finding hope in a land where optimism seemed to have vacated long ago.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Reflection, Relationships and Resilience

"Reflection is an opportunity to realize that relationships are our life's blood. This is what gives us resilience not only as individuals, but as a collective community"
Daniel Siegel is currently clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center.
He believes that by focusing just on the 3 R's - reading, writing, and arithmetic which are the neural circuits of the physical world we are depriving kids of the power of mindsight. He suggests that the curriculum should be based on the other more important 3 R's - Reflection, Relationships and Resilience - the neural circuits of the world of the mind. When we are interconnected with others, in tune with them, have insight into ourselves/others and have empathy with them, we have mindsight...Traditional teaching and the way behavior is managed promotes separateness and looking at the world as only a physical entity. We should rather than ' working with children' to help them build relationships and be reflective - Read more on  Parenting is Learning
The second talk examines in particular how relationships and reflection support the development of resilience in children and serve as the basic '3 R's" of a new internal education of the mind.
 -- Watch "Time In: Reflection, Relationships and Resilience at the Heart of Internal Education"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Music Makes Me

What does MUSIC make you do or feel? Music Heals asked that question of famous musicians, music therapists, and music fans. Here is what they had to say.

Music Makes Me (Music Heals) from Music Heals on Vimeo.

Music Heals

Does music heal? 
Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development. — Canadian Association for Music Therapy
Music therapists tell Music Heals about their important work and help describe music therapy.

An introduction to Music Therapy (Music Heals) from Music Heals on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


“When I was growing up, we had music in our schools. It was a given. These days many of these programs are not available. I don’t know what I would have done without music in my life when I was growing up. I was unpopular and picked on, but for me, music was my refuge and solace the one thing I knew I was good at; it fed me and kept me going.” - Sarah McLachlan
KidScoop Media reporters Shelby and Alexis speak with musician Sarah McLachlan about her childhood and the tuition-free music school she founded to teach and inspire kids in Vancouver.
The Sarah McLachlan School of Music provides music education to underserved and at-risk youth at no cost. The school is dedicated to helping young people build community and find their voice. All children should be provided with the opportunity to realize their full potential. Music education provides this opportunity.
-- Watch more inspiring videos here
-- Read "Sarah McLachlan wants to open school of music in Surrey, B.C." on CBC News
-- Watch "A Musical Legacy: Sarah McLachlan's school of music"on Global News

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Quiet Time program

In low-income urban schools, traumatic stress is a reality for millions of children who grow up in an oppressive climate of poverty, violence, and fear. This stress impedes learning and undermines physical and mental health. High stress levels also damage teachers and educators, resulting in extremely high burnout rates.The Quiet Time program is a practical, evidence-based approach to reduce stress and dramatically improve academic performance, student wellness and the school environment. Quiet Time provides students with two 15-minute periods of Transcendental Meditation each day to help balance their lives and improve their readiness to learn. This schoolwide program complements existing educational strategies by improving the physiological underpinnings of learning and behaviour. Transcendental Meditation, the core intervention of the Quiet Time Program, is a simple, easily learned technique, practiced by students and teachers while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It does not involve any religion, philosophy, or change in lifestyle. Over 340 published scientific studies document its effectiveness for improving health and learning. This approach has been adopted by hundreds of public, private and charter schools worldwide—with strong support from students, parents and educators (source: David Lynch Foundation)
-- Watch "Violence Rate Down 50% and Grades Up with TM in AZ School"
-- Watch "A Success Story: Transcendental Meditation in a New England High School"
-- Watch "Opening the Door to Self-Esteem at New Village Charter High School"
-- Read "Daily Meditation: A Bold Approach to Reducing Student Stress" on Edutopia

Monday, September 21, 2015

International Day of Peace 2015

"I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September - today. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.
Listen to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon video message

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reflections on Peace

"Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker recites Martin Luther King Jr's powerful speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop", as well as answering questions as to what is peace to him. Very powerful.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Empowering the Next Generation

Peace Day (September 21) is a day to empower the next generation of peace makers, inspiring them to become the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world, using Peace Day as a catalyst for individual and collective action. Peace One Day Education aims to inspire young people to become the driving force behind the vision of a united, and sustainable world by advancing active learning in the areas of reconciliation, intercultural cooperation, and global citizenship – using Peace Day 21 September as its focus.
-- go to Peace One Day education resources

South African band FreshlyGround calls out to young people around the world to be the peace makers of the future through Peace One Day Education.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Artists for Peace and Justice

Paul Haggis is an Oscar-winning film director and screenwriter. In this ONE ON ONE interview, Paul states his belief that fame must be used to bring attention to worthy causes. Paul first went to Haiti in 2008 (long before the devastating earthquake of 2010) to try and find a man he had heard about who had been working in Haiti's slums for over 20 years. After finding the man and observing his work, Paul saw he was able "to do so much with so little." The experience compelled him to start Artists for Peace and Justice, a charity organization that supports communities in Haiti through programs in education. "We decided that we weren't going to solve Haiti's problems, the Haitians were," he says. Paul decided that the best way to empower the Haitian people was through EDUCATION. After learning that Haiti had never had a high school for kids of the slums, Artists for Peace and Justice founded, just a few months after the quake in a temporary structure, the first middle and high school. The school now has grades 7 to 10, and will soon have grades 11 to 13. "Good intentions mean nothing at all," he says of his charity work. "It's actions. It's only actions."
Please take the time to watch the story of William below and listen to the song he wrote with his brother at the end of the video clip ("Together We Will Go Far")
-- View One on One series Trailer
-- Browse APJ's video clips

Together We Will Go Far - Vhernier from APJ Now on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

All Kids Should Dream

This is why the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development are important: a moving yet positive short film focused on the life of Mekfah, who lives in the innercity slums of Bangkok. Featuring Liverpool Football Club - Directed by: Ananda Everingham
This is beautiful.

The Global Goals

On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders will commit to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality and injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people.
-- visit Global Goals website
-- Read about how to teach our children the World's largest lesson

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The surprising power of your brain on music

Jarrod Haning is the principal violist for the South Carolina Philharmonic. With performing experience in 14 professional orchestras and over 20,000 hours of practice he is able to deliver some powerful secrets on mental and physical performance. As an award-winning speaker, Jarrod trains companies in the psychology of music. When you know how music creates inspiration in you, then you are able to create inspiration in other people. By revealing the subconscious mechanism that drives our emotional response to music and language, he is able to engage his audience at a much deeper level.
-- Read "Audiation, the Door to Musical Creativity" by Edwin Gordon
Music is unique to humans. Like the other arts, music is as basic as language to human development and existence. Through music a child gains insights into herself, into others, and into life itself. Perhaps most important, she is better able to develop and sustain her imagination. Without music, life would be bleak. Because a day does not pass without a child’s hearing or participating in some music, it is to a child’s advantage to understand music as thoroughly as she can. As a result, as she becomes older she will learn to appreciate, to listen to, and to partake in music that she herself believes to be good. Because of such cultural awareness, her life will have more meaning for her. (From Gordon, Edwin E. A Music Learning Theory for Newborn and Young Children. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1990, pp. 2-3.)
-- Listen to "Music as a language" by Victor Wooten
-- Read "Musical training 'can improve language and reading'" on BBC News
-- Read "Are musicians better language learners?" on the Guardian

The Effects of Music on the Brain

How does learning to play a musical instrument change the brain? Can music be instrumental in helping people recovering from strokes? These are just two questions being answered by researchers at McGill university and the Montreal Neurological Institute. Neurologist Robert Zatorre (BRAMS – International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) and his PhD Student Melanie Segado worked with Prof. Marcelo Wanderley and his student Avrum Hollinger in creating a cello that could be played in an MRI scanner to see how the brain changes as a result of playing a musical instrument.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

International Day of Peace - September 21

In this video, Dr. Goodall encourages individuals around the globe to participate in the United Nations International Day of Peace which is celebrated on September 21 each year. This year, an especially auspicious one with the UN's celebration its 70th anniversary, will have the theme of, "Partnerships for Peace - Dignity for All." Dr. Goodall is a UN Messenger of Peace.
- go to Peace One Day

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Music unites

"No hate. No color. Just the love of music shared amongst complete strangers" (youtube comment)
-- See them on Jimmy Kimmel

Engaging Boys in the Arts

Curriculum Services Canada (CSC) is a non-profit organization that supports the ever-changing needs of learners. CSC is not only recognized as the Pan-Canadian standards and evaluation agency, but also for developing a wide spectrum of customized learning resources for academic and organizational environments. "Learning through the Arts" is a series of 57 videos featuring classrooms from Grades 1 to 12, including northern, southern, urban, rural, public and Catholic schools, demonstrates the revised Arts curriculum in action.
In the video below students become re-engaged in school through participating in a student-driven visual arts program.