Lincoln Avenue School
216 Lincoln Ave, Orange, NJ 07050
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Something's in the air.Posted by Wendy Mir on 8/30/2017 10:30:00 AM
My dog is a very intelligent poodle...she's 4, and she knows something's up. She sees me sitting at the computer more and more every day as I plan for the new year at school. She sees that less time is being taken with her in activites, but she's getting more hugs. She can't figure that one out. I've been coming home with lots of bags but no bones (school supplies)! This is making her pensive. She sits around and watches me with those eyes. Since she doesn't get along with other dogs very well, I can't put her in a doggy day care, which could be fun for her, if she'd only get along. She is not interested in getting along.
I'm thinking about my students too, as they get ready for the new school year. They're coming home with bags of supplies, with new books, new uniforms...and maybe they're poking around on the internet looking at their teacher's sites. They might be wondering what the year will bring. Some might be just trying to avoid the whole thing, squeezing the last drop out of summer. Some are excited...some are not.
Parents are in this too. Some are hoping that this is the best year ever with thoughts of how they could ever top last year! Some are praying that they have nothing like what they had last year. Some are new to Lincoln Avenue with questions, concerns, and hopes for the future for their child.
We're all in the same boat...we have that little uneasy yet excited sense of anticipation, and only time will get us into the rhythm and tell what the year will bring. One thing's for sure, we are all in charge of the legacy of this year in our lives! Teachers on top of their game, students willing to learn, and parents involved. The only poor creature without control is my dog poor thing. She's at the mercy of her mommie's schedule!
Well, I just got a wet nose on my arm, so I need to take my dog for some ball catching....I promised her.
I know what I'm planning for 2017-2018. What are you promising yourself for this year?
We've just got 10 monthss to make a great legacy!
What is the most important thing about performing?Posted by Wendy Mir on 4/27/2017 10:00:00 AM
What's the most important thing about performing?
Well I have to say, the concert was wonderful! From beginning to end, everyone did their absolute best on stage, and for that I'm very proud of you all! Those of you who practiced at home from the website...all I can say is I heard it! Did we make mistakes? Yes!... but now we move on and improve our singing for the next time. Good preparation boys and girls.
Have you ever asked yourself why people love music so much, or why people love to perform... whats so important about that? Well it's not an easy answer, and most people might answer it differently. What I have found after many years of singing professionally and teaching, is that music and performance is a great 'feel good' activity, and gives the performer great satisfaction when all the hard word is appreciated by others. It has also been found to be a wonderful character builder. My best singers are always those who know how to multi-task, set their priorities, follow directions, and are usually the most respectful kids around. This doesn't happen by accident. Music study stimulates these charactar traits. It also promotes empathy and nurturing feelings towards others, did you know that? I have found a good article from NAFME (National Association for Music Education) which talks about all of this more!
Social and Emotional Learning in the Performing Arts Classroom (January 25, 2017)
You have to see this!Posted by Wendy Mir on 5/14/2015 8:30:00 PM
Children Singing Around the WorldPosted by Wendy Mir on 4/2/2015 6:00:00 AMTo my choir students,While sharing with my son some of the music we'll be performing at our Maundy Thursday service at my church job, I ran across a video of the Gondwana National Choral School's performance of Barber's Sure on the Shining Night. These students are 14-16 years old, including boys with newly changed or changing voices. The piece is tricky, and these students have just blown it out of the water with their pure, absolutely stunning, in tune singing. I wanted to share it with you, as these boys and girls are not much older than you. In case you're wondering, these students are from Australia, and the school has been in existance for 25 years.Enjoy, and have a Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it!Mrs. Mir
Singing in thirds.Posted by Wendy Mir on 3/10/2015 8:00:00 PMHave you ever heard of Billy Joel? What about Jimmy Fallon? I love both of these guys, and Jimmy Fallon is just crazy about singing with his guests. What better guest to sing with than the famous Billy Joel (and what a great sport he was!) What Billy and Jimmy did was so easy... (to me).... and fun. Easy to me because in my day, all of our music was melodic, and had harmony in thirds. The 'third' I'm talking about is a space between 2 notes on the staff, for example, a C and an E, or an F and an A. There are 3 steps in between the 2 notes on the staff. I'm always amazed at how hard it is to sing in simple harmony (3rds) for students today.I want to share this episode of Jimmy Fallon's show, where he uses an iPad app called 'The Looper' and sings the famous 60's song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Now you know I'm going to look for this app, and if you have an iPad, you should get it too. Practice creating your own loops and singing along! Let me know how it goes.Here's the episode, enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU-eAzNp5Hw
Sujari Britt, her cello and everything else.Posted by Wendy Mir on 3/3/2015 12:00:00 PMI'm here at school having lunch and remembering a video I saw on Facebook having to do with a 9 year old young girl who loves music. What caught me was the picture on the cover of the article, and her face...totally into the piece she was playing...totally in another zone. That place she was in, in that picture, is the place I have been going for about 45 years when I sing, and my question to myself is, can students 'get it' in school? Can my students achieve the kind of commitment it takes to find 'the zone' just being in class twice or three times a week, with a group of other students?
Lately I've been charging my students with the demand for focus in class. If there is no focus, no learning gets done. More than that even, if there is not focus the sad truth is you'll never hear those directions which take you directly to that place where Sujari and I go. Its like I've been dropping bread crumbs, but not everyone is taking them. Some of my students have been fooling around, and so the crumbs go to the crows. You see, after a whole lot of effort, training, practice and excellent instruction, you start to find the 'zone'. Its when your music is no longer notes on a page, or an assignment, or something you don't understand. It becomes the place where your emotions can express themselves through the lyrics of a song, the heart-quickening tempos, or the long drawn out phrases of a sad melody. The music itself is a vehicle for expression...every emotion! Its a place where a prayer, because of the music its set to becomes a private conversation with God. It becomes a vocal experience with a group of people in the chorus, where your hearts all start beating as one. That...that is where Sujari goes. Do you want to go there?The way is long, but not that hard to find. You have to listen and focus, and along the way you are fed by the bread. Guys, a life with music is a joyful one, and it is a skill that will last a lifetime. Read some of these quotes about what music did for some of these famous people:Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to the loneliness. Maya AngelouMusic washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold AuerbachAfter silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. Aldous HuxleyLean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart. Andres SegoviaMusic is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. Jean PaulIts essential to do everything possible to attract young people to opera so they can see that it is not some antiquated art form but a repository of the most glorious music and drama that man has created. Bruce Beresfordhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18SJYcWCmWo Click here if you want to learn more about Sujari.Have a great rest of your week, and enjoy the snow!Mrs. Mir
Now what do we do? A virtual choir, that's what!Posted by Wendy Mir on 5/21/2014 1:30:00 PMYou must know I never get tired of music or singing, and one of the most awesome people I have ever met is Mr. Eric Whitacre! Eric Whitacre writes choral music in a most unusual way! I've had the pleasure of being a part of one of his projects, his Virtual Choir 4, and I'd love to see you all try to be involved in his newest Youth Choir. All of the information is available to you and your parents on my home page to take part...really...you don't even need me! There is a place on his site to learn the music, to tape yourself and to upload your video...its that simple!!Just give it a try. Have any questions? Just ask.More to come.Mrs. Mir
Happy!Posted by Wendy Mir on 3/12/2014 4:30:00 PMHappyI just love this song. It makes me happy.I usually am a very happy person, however,I love that you can have 24 hours of Happy!!!Can't get enough!Are you happy?Let me know what makes you happy....right now this song is making me so gosh darned happy!!
Winter Vacation 2014Posted by Wendy Mir on 2/22/2014Anyone who knows me knows that I love the theater! I don't often get the chance to go, nor do I usually have the money to afford those tickets (ouch!), but this time I made an exception. To see these 2 wonderful men in Waiting for Godot was the best theater experience I've had to date! In case you're not sure who was in the cast, it was Patrick Stewart (you know, from Star Treck, the Next Generation) and Ian McKellen (you know, Gandolf from The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies). These 2 men have spent a lifetime at one thing…just one thing…their acting. Being good at something doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice, and oh boy with these 2 'Sirs' (both of them have been knighted by the Queen!) the time put into their acting was quite evident! They are so good!It was Nelson (Mr. Mir's) birthday and I decided to treat him to dinner and a show, but it was really I who was treated to some theater heaven!I hope you were able to make some memories along with the shoveling and shoveling, and more shoveling on our vacation!Welcome back to school! ~Mrs. Mir
Wow! Since Thanksgiving!!?Posted by Wendy Mir on 1/30/2014 4:30:00 AMI can't believe that the last time I posted anything was Thanksgiving!! Well I'm overdue. Lets see. OK... I have an idea.The focus of our Spring Concert is: Musical Theater and the Movies.Do you like Musical Theater?Do you know what that is?Well, I've chosen a couple of great songs from Sweet Charity, Godspell, Grease, Mary Poppins, and the movie Brother, Where Art Thou.If you had the ability to choose a piece for our spring concert, from Musical Theater, what would that be?If you could sing a solo from a musical, what would you like to do?Lets talk!Mrs. Mir...who is going home now, because I'm hungry.