Wednesday, August 13, 2008

1, 2, 3 and the beat goes on....!

Frandsen Stone Lawrence

A wise music educator once said '
The greatest thing about music is the people you meet through it'. That educator was Al Frandsen and his legacy of touching lives through music is far reaching. Among his many students were Mrs. Illinois 2008, Michelle Beckwith and's own Dr. Bob Lawrence who was so enamored by Al's influence that he named his newborn son Frandsen (yep, that's him pictured above)!

In my case, music was something I always enjoyed. I listened to Benny Goodman because my dad could hardly contain himself upon hearing the first few measures of Sing, Sing, Sing or Stealin' Apples. I wanted him to get just as big a kick out of hearing me play as he did Benny.

Like most of my colleagues, I was fortunate to have wonderful teachers who cared more about me as a person than they did the music. To this day, many of my fellow classmates from high school continue to make music a major part of their lives. Some went on to be professional musicians, many continue to play as a hobby and others are living vicariously through their children's musical adventures.

I believe the reason for this can be traced directly back to our teachers who knew how to communicate with and connect to their students. There was no need to convince parents (or a school board) that music made test scores better, their programs were always large and brimming with eager learners.

We've all read the research on the positive affects of music education but maybe it's time we just get back to basics. And Al Frandsen's simple and personal observation is perhaps the best testament imaginable for both teaching and studying music.

Have a great school year everyone!