Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day with several teachers at one of our Divisional elementary schools. I always appreciate the opportunity to meet informally with teachers to share ideas and find out about some of the innovative things that are happening in our classrooms.
While I was there, an old friend shared one of his recent projects with me. Ryan Miller, who was once a student teacher in my classroom, has found a way to successfully integrate his musical background with his current role as a teacher and guidance counsellor within our school division. While Ryan has long been an accomplished singer and songwriter, his foray into music within the context of education is beginning to flourish.
Earlier this year, Ryan attended one of our divisional workshops that explored several classroom uses of GarageBand. Although he hadn't played with GarageBand prior to this workshop, he's become hooked on writing and recording songs with this powerful Mac application.
This spring, Ryan wrote a song for his school. As word got out about this project, he's had other schools approach him about the possibility of recording songs on their behalf. Most recently, 'Mr. Miller' recorded Strathmillan Stars for one of our other elementary schools. The school provided a series of phrases that they wanted incorporated into the song, and Ryan involved the school choir and a student soloist within the song that he wrote.
I'm thoroughly impressed with Ryan's dedication and commitment to involving students in projects of this nature. What an incredible way to build community and celebrate school successes. I'd love to see more projects like this one being created across our division and around the world :-)
Please take a few minutes to have a listen to Strathmillan Stars and leave a comment with your reflections on this song and the concept of connecting and collaborating through music. On that note, I proudly present to you 'Strathmillan Stars', an original composition by Ryan Miller: