My first #etmooc!

I registered for #etmooc two days ago…

I’m not quite sure what I got myself into just yet 😉 All I know is that 1) I have learned a great deal through my Twitter PLN last three years, 2) I do a lot of daily online learning, and 3) today is a good day to begin my massive  open online course — with a huge class.

Here we go! Here’s my intro vid!

Happy  learning!

Up next: Massive lipdub!!

~Yoon

PS: made it in a hurry since I’m so late to the party. I used Animoto. If you’re an educator, get a free edu account here. Folks there are great for allowing teachers to use this cool app for teachers and students. I also used my pictures from Flickr and some slides from my Keynote. Song: “Closer to the Edge” 30 Seconds to Mars.

 

Closing Ceremony Music at the 2012 London Olympics

English: Fireworks during the Celebration Conc...
English: Fireworks during the Celebration Concert segment of the closing ceremony at the 2012 Olympics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s August 13th and sadly, the 2012 London Olympics is no more…

The 2012 Olympic experience was an astonishing display of passion and discipline. Danny Boyle and his team delivered a breathtaking 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony. What a way to capture the spirit of the Olympics! I wish that the games would have lasted just a little longer.

Wondrous. Sensational. Dramatic. Astounding. These words come to mind summarizing the athletes, the games, and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Before I share a list of songs that were included in a set called “A Symphony of British Music” (so aptly named!), I wanted to highlight the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and the Liverpool Signing Choir who performed John Lennon’s “Imagine”. During this beautiful tribute, the world watched a surreal performance of the choirs singing with a video clip of Lennon singing the song. There were also young dancers who built a sculpture of the legendary singer/songwriter’s face. As I have mentioned in my opening ceremony post, I think Danny Boyle was brilliant for including so many adolescences in both ceremonies. What do these choirs represent? For me, they represent the beauty of many passionate young individuals coming together to build a strong community with a common love. They will grow, transform, and become stronger as they work together. They make this imperfect world a beautiful place.

I wanted to include a video of these choirs, but IOC took the video down due to copyright issues. Maybe I will get it uploaded here later. In the mean time, I will leave you with a list of the songs that were performed during the closing ceremony. The Spotify’s playlist includes the songs, but the actual performance included many tribute covers by up-and-coming artists like Ed Sheeran. So I’m including the performer list and the playlist below. I can’t wait for the next Olympic games! ~Yoon

{N.B. on August 15: Spotify playlist of the closing ceremony music has been updating since my post! You will be able to hear tribute covers by younger artists, except for Imagine.}

Closing Ceremony Music & Performers, shared by Life of a Rock Star blog:

Spotify playlist:

Charles Hazlewood: Trusting the Ensemble

I can’t get this TEDTalk by Charles Hazlewood out of my head. It’s been months since @shaugland shared this link on Twitter.  Even if you are not a conductor, you should watch this. If you are a parent, a teacher, or a musician, you need to watch this and get into the conversation:

This brilliant presentation contains much food for thought.

TRUST is an important word. I would guess that many of us like being on the receiving end (ie. people trusting us). Boy, isn’t it hard to trust others? 🙂

This quote by an unknown author deeply resonates with Maestro Hazlewood:

Trust is the best medium for success. It creates an environment in which people feel free to be authentic, passionate, committed, and willing to share all they have to offer. ~author unknown

 

I reflected a lot, thinking about the simile (conducting is like a small bird in your hand) and the lessons learned through the South African Music project, the singing demonstration by the TED Choir (the F-E-D motive), the extraordinary story behind the Paraorchestra, and of Haydn‘s wordless, but apparent revolt in Farewell Symphony finale. The Maestro challenged me as a musician and teacher to assess myself as an artistic leader.

What am I doing to create a safe and passionate space for my students? What needs to change?

Musicians and music teachers, think of your ensembles. What is your story? What is your experience building trust with your group? How do you inspire the young musicians to feel free to be themselves, but give all to their ensemble?

And do you agree with this statement?

Where there is trust, there is music, and by extension, life. Where there is no trust, music simply withers away….

 

Why or why not?

~ Yoon (will post a post regarding my experience with my choirs)

Opening Ceremony Music at the 2012 London Olympics

Andrew Maunders designed this alternative Olympic poster

It was an amazing night of celebration in London last night. The opening ceremony, under the direction of Danny Boyle, was full of spectacular visuals, integrated social media, tech, doused with delightful surprises and humor.

And of course, MUSIC.

It was a great mix of pop and classical music. I loved hearing two children’s choirs (were there more?) and the London Philharmonic under the direction of Simon Rattle. It was wonderful to see conductor and musician extraordinaire, Daniel Barenboim, carrying the Olympic flag with seven others.

I also loved that happy, energetic drummers stood on the sidelines as the athletes marched in. The drummers kept the atmosphere upbeat and moved the marchers at a fast pace.

Music, once again, played a vital role in the opening ceremonies. Congrats to Danny Boyle and the people of the UK. You have a great wealth of creativity. Thank you for sharing with the world.

So if you were looking for a list of music heard during the entire ceremony, here it is (thank you, Spotify)! My absolute favorite is Elgar’s Nimrod. What’s yours?

(N.B. I started watching the ceremony a bit late so if I missed something, let me know. I know there were some things I missed due to commercial breaks, too. Leave me a comment below!)

~ Yoon (PS. I absolutely love sharing world events with friends from all over the world. Tweeting during the ceremony was memorable!)

Hi! I’m an ISTE Newbie.

I was attending the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference for the first time past week. I had no idea how big this conference was before my arrival. To tell you the truth, with the exception of my presentation, I was not at all prepared for its enormous everything. With 12K+ attendees and exhibitors the Pennsylvania Convention Center was one busy hotspot (this is an unofficial number. I’ve also read other attendees mention 18K…)!

With many conferences under my belt, I thought this conference would be just like the others. The truth is that I felt quite out of place as I wondered around the crowds and (what felt like) endless conference space. But all was not lost!

I is for Interaction:  F2F Conversations

 I am connected to a lot of educators online and have been “conversing” with many of them over the last year and a half. But meeting these people in person is one of the greatest moments I will experience. I have had the pleasure of seeing and hugging many of my friends for the first time. It was incredible to match their faces with their voices. What was more fascinating was that many of our edu conversations continued on. I enjoyed every conversation whether it took place in the conference lounges/cafes, over dinner, or right after some sessions. Passionate learning and thinking together in person beats any virtual space. I am also thankful to have met new teachers with whom I can learn from.  

S is for Sharing: Arts are Alive in the Mix

ISTE panel
E.Peterson, Y.S.Lim, M.Baldwin, & K. Pace @ISTE11

Presenting at ISTE was something quite special. I was honored to present with  Elizabeth Peterson, Michelle Baldwin, and Kyle Pace for the Music and Tech: Harmony in the Making session. Although I was a presenter, I learned much more. I really appreciated how my co-presenters shared about how they help their students to make deeper connection to learning through music and tech.

I am so glad for those teachers who were hesitant at first, but decided to to come to our session. My friend Doug Peterson (@dougpete) came to our session and wrote this blog post. I was quite nervous to have friends like Doug in the crowd, but also was empowered by their support. So thank you, Doug, friends, and all those who attended our session! It was especially great to meet @musictechie, @dougbutchy, @rdammers, and @DoeMiSo from my MPLN (Music PLN).

I was reminded again that many teachers are looking to the “arts experts” for creative ways to teach. I hope I can continue to do my part in sharing ideas and advocating for the arts education. I was thankful to see many arts offerings at ISTE and feel tremendous honor to have had the experience. I hope to encourage and partner with many arts teachers to consider presenting in the future. Kudos to all educators!

T is for Telic: Taking Notes

There are several things I want to remember if I ever get another chance to attend ISTE.

  1. Read the program & add handful interesting sessions at least to the ISTE app. I did not look carefully or plan well. I, unfortunately, did not get over the enormity of the conference. It was hard for me to know what to pick on the spot. Next time, I will at least have a list of sessions I want to check out.
  2. Know the layout of the venue. I was clueless where things were. I would not have wasted a lot of time if I knew at least where some things were. I was thankful for the many volunteers who were everywhere who helped me. Next time, I will look at the map!
  3. Enter the exhibition with a goal. I had some kind of allergic reaction (not really, but figuratively) when I entered the exhibition hall that made me come right out. It was just so big and I didn’t know where things were. Next time, I will seek out specific companies to check out innovative ideas.
  4. Set aside time for poster sessions and special workshops. Again, there were so many that I’ve missed because I was so tired! 
  5. Talk to more people. I may not get another chance to talk to a presenter or someone from the PLN ever again. I need to make time for more f2f and make effort to talk to more people. They just might be as lost as me!

E is for Excogitate: Now Think Out {Loud}

So what am I going to do now that I have attended, ISTE? I am going to remember what great experience it has been to connect and learn. You, who are in my PLN, will be there to excogitate (to think out; to find out or discover by thinking; to devise) with me. It comes back to building relationships and conversations, doesn’t it?

I’m thankful for you!

~Yoon

Voices of the World: Virtual Choir 2.0

I was excited all day.

Feeling like a little kid waiting for a beautifully wrapped big present, I waited for the premier of Sleep, Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0 project. You see, I wasn’t waiting for the virtual choir video as an audience, I was waiting for all of my fellow choir members.

I had every intention of submitting my video before the end of December (2010) due date, but that month got the best of me. After school was out, I was so worn out and feeling sick, I gave up on learning the music or taping my singing.

But due to a bad storm in Europe, the submission date was extended by 10 days! When I read the update, I caught a second wind. I was determined to get this done and participate.

I had no idea that I would be one of (over) 2000 voices.

While learning Eric Whitacre’s eight-part music I was reminded of the days when I realized singing breathed a new life in me (a pianist). These were the days when the power of human connectedness through singing became so real to me. We didn’t need words – we were a group of singers working to interpret music with every ounce of feeling, thought, and intention.  

Although the process of “choir” was different, people were brought together. Over 2000 people’s singing captured in a moment (like a time capsule) gently layered in beautiful sounds. It’s not perfect – but my choir sang with feeling, thought and intent. Besides, who says the goal of music is about perfection?

What this experience has shown me:

  • {Holy cow!} I’m listening to a lot of musical people singing.
  • I’m listening to many generations of good singers.
  • And I’m listening to hope. I’m listening to individuals who embrace other people and communities way beyond their own culture or race.

The role of contemporary composers are changing. I’m grateful that Eric Whitacre had a vision to bring people together this way. Thank you, Mr. Whitacre!

I thought it was rather cute that my students kept asking me if I “made it” on Virtual Choir after I told them about how I got to submit my video. I had no idea if all the videos would be accepted, so I just told them I had to wait. Coincidentally the 8th graders who had shown most interest in this project were in class last period today. We talked about the premier and listened to Eric Whitacre on this post. They listened with anticipation.

When I see them next, I will play this video for them. I am thankful that I can share this project with them. I am grateful that I can make music everyday with them.

Enjoy this video. Hear the words being painted in phrases. See the world come together.

My hope is that you will take music with you. I cannot imagine life without it.

~Yoon, so grateful and feeling so alive. See you at Virtual Choir 3.0!  In case you’re wondering – I sing my part (soprano 2) every time I watch this video. 🙂


Sleep, poetry by Charles Anthony Silvestri

The evening hangs beneath the moon

A silver thread on darkened dune

With closing eyes and resting head

I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow, safe in bed

A thousand pictures fill my head

I cannot sleep my minds a flight

And yet my limbs seem made of lead

If there are noises in the night

A frighting shadow, flickering light

Then I surrender unto sleep

Where clouds of dreams give second sight

What dreams may come both dark and deep

Of flying wings and soaring leap

As I surrender unto sleep

As I surrender unto sleep

 

Here’s the livestream of Eric Whitacre at Paley Center on the night of the premier  (April 7, 2011):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

World Premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir…, posted with vodpod

 

For laughs – here’s my video

Virtual Choir 2.0 Preview

Just saw this tweet from @tedtalks about Virtual Choir 2.0. Watch this video and get a glimpse of Eric Whitacre’s Sleep sung by 2000 voices! If you read my first post about VC, you’d be wondering if I participated for the second project. The answer is yes! The full video should be coming out on April 7th – I am very excited to see it!

But for now – here’s Eric Whitacre on TEDTalks on Virtual Choirs and introduction of Sleep project:

~ Yoon

Songs for Japan

Since my last post, my students have been busy thinking about making song collections to bring hope and encouragement to all in Japan. We dedicate these songs to @barbsaka, @m_yam, @captainC, @johnstonb, @mscofino, and their students.

My students were to think of a song that would bring healing, encouragement and hope to people facing hardships in Japan. They wrote out their reasons on GoogleDocs and shared the links.

We send our love to you! May these songs lift you up and bring you healing.

~ Yoon

PS: I’m encouraging teachers and school elsewhere to add their songs and messages here or make their own playlst! Also check out Paper Cranes for Japan project. My school will get busy with crane-making after our Spring Break.

UPDATE:

1) We will be adding our message posted on the gloster and linoit sticky notes to We Love Japan message board as mentioned by Barbara. It’s really simple way to raise money – I hope YOU will also take a part!

2) Messages added to We Love Japan site!    ~ ysl

Speechless

I have so much to say, but I find myself speechless right now.

It’s hard to watch what Japan is going through right now after the earthquakes and tsunami. As I write, many in Japan are holding their breath about the nuclear reactors situation. I know we, Americans, are far away from the East, but one cannot help, but feel for people in Japan.

I invite you to read some posts:

  1. A post by Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto (@barbsaka), an American teacher living and teaching in Japan. Her recent post, Aftershocks 2, is a sober read about what is happening in Japan. Her suggestions for foreigners who wish to help is really helpful.
  2. A Washington Post correspondent, Paul Bluestein wrote this personal post,  Why I’m Not Fleeing Japan on why he’s staying put in Japan.
  3. The last link I’m going to share is by Brad Johnston, a music teacher in Japan. He wrote a post titled, The Big Quake Music Lesson. Due to the earthquake, his school is on a week-long break and posted an interesting music lesson for his students (although they are not meeting face-to-face, many students are checking online for work). I took this lesson and while I discussed recent disaster in Japan with my students, I asked them to consider songs of hope and encouragement for people who are in Japan. Once I gather their links and messages, I will share them with Brad and Barbara.

My thoughts and prayers are with people in Japan!


So Do Tell What You Have in Mind: Start of a Collaborative Project

Happy New Year!

The first 25 days of December was insanely busy for me. There were simply too many happenings at my school to mention, but I wanted to try to get this post out before around the new year.

School…

One way our school learns about cultures and traditions is through presentations during our weekly community meetings (we call them chapels, but they are assemblies. See here and here for examples and explanations). My department was asked to present for two of the December all-school chapels: Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Our music department is always involved with preparing music for every chapel (to perform, to sing or both), so this request had us look for other ways to present to our community. My teaching partner and I decided early on that I would organize Hanukkah chapel while he works on the other. We let these ideas simmer for a while :-).

December was approaching fast. So while mulling over ideas, I decided to make 2010 Hanukkah celebration about our community and elsewhere. Some questions I wanted to explore were:

  • What makes Hanukkah special for members of our community?
  • What is Hanukkah to them?
  • How do other people celebrate Hanukkah?
  • (Because I’m a music teacher) What songs are sung during Hanukkah in their community?
  • How do we learn about people outside of our community and how do I bring them to our school?

Other considerations I needed to be mindful were:

  • Having the Kindergarten class take a “presenter” role
  • 15-20 minute presentation time limit

Talking to a Person I Know: @WhatEdSaid

Making our school connections were easy: My teaching partner who teaches Kindergarten was teaching a beautiful song titled, Hanukkah Shalom; I talked to several group of teachers and students to give them a framework of what is to come. While I was thinking about asking outside people questions, @whatedsaid (Edna Sackson) came to mind. What I remembered about Edna was that she was a passionate educator who lived in Australia teaching in a Hebrew school. Read her blog posts (this one and others) and you will immediately see what I’m talking about. She is a very active participant in our PLN: she shares resources, writes posts about learning and comments on many of our network authors’ works. Everyone’s busy, I know. But at least I could ask a question to see if she can help me in some way.

I direct-messaged Edna on Twitter, giving her my email address and stating I had an idea to connect our school children around Hanukkah. And then I waited.

Edna emailed right away with:

Hi!

So do tell what you have in mind 🙂

Edna

So our conversations began. It was about the third exchange of emails I had realized that end-of-the-school-year for schools in Australia was in a few weeks. Even with the busyness, Edna had sent out emails to her colleagues at her school, inviting them to collaborate, and assuring them how she will be there to help video their classes.

After our initial emails, things were moving along. I exchanged emails with two other teachers saying hellos and discussing possible collaboration now and for the future. Thanks to technology, I was easily being in touch with people so far away!

Edna helped tremendously. She posted videos from music classes from her school in a Dropbox I set up. She DM’ed me when she posted, I got the footage, and started editing them along with what I was working on from my end.

Our collaboration was a direct result of  open communication(emails, Twitter), efficient use of technology (VoiceThread, Dropbox, iMovie) and a mutual love for learning and our interest to make connections outside of school walls. I am so grateful for this initial collaboration and can’t wait for more!

Here is a VoiceThread of our project. Although I MC’ed the morning, you can get a good idea of what happened through this. What you won’t see is 1) the Kindergarteners performing their song with some kids playing the bells (this live performance commenced the chapel. You can hear the beginning of this song in a video we exchanged with Edna’s school at the end of the VT). 2) When you get to a slide that reads “Listen to the Words” this YouTube video by the Maccabeats titled, Candlelight was played during the chapel. It’s a great music video with a catchy chorus. What I love about it is that it teaches the history of Hanukkah.

The VT features our Kindergarteners, 2 of our teachers, the Preparatory class (5 year-olds) from Edna’s school singing with their music teacher, Janice Roth and Year 1s reflecting on Hanukkah traditions.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hanukkah 2010, posted with vodpod

Reflection

  • Ask your network for help: I took a simple step of asking Edna. I thought about many ways not to “bother” people and come up with my own ideas. In the end, it was clear that I needed help. Your network people, especially the ones you’ve had conversations with, are respectful people. They will let you know what they can handle at that moment. If you do not have a PLN, start one today!
  • Use of video/VoiceThread in learning: Because I didn’t teach the Kindergarten class, finding time to rehearse with them proved to be somewhat difficult. Taping them on video helped me to use my time efficiently,  feature them for the presentation day and keep the presentation pretty short. Skyping with other school are great, but scheduling a live face-to-face chats are difficult when they are in a different state or country. Our school community loved listening to Edna’s school children and learning about what those children know about Hanukkah. Our students are eager to connect with them this year!
  • The learning continues for me and my students: I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for Edna and her colleagues who took the time to make this connection with me so that our school communities will learn from one another. I am grateful for future opportunities that my school sees now in making global connections.

If you are looking for opportunities to connect your class with outside people, take one simple step and look around you. Who do you come in contact with? And who do you learn from? Who can you ask? And will you have an open mind when someone asks YOU to collaborate?

Take the plunge and look around you! Here’s to great learning in 2011!

Yoon

PS: Do you know who helped me to get my VoiceThread on here? (If you’re a WordPress blogger, you know what I’m talking about: WP doesn’t play nice with many embeds or files…) – Edna helped me to get it on here. Do you see how much I’m learning from her? 🙂