Craig E. Stevens, History Teacher, Retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force, and Musician: Madeline’s Monthly Musical Tips Blog/Article for September 2017

Our blog and Radio Show for September features Craig E. Stevens, history teacher, retired Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force, husband, father, grandfather, and musician.

Our article of the month is “Four Keys to Developing Great Leaders” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM.  Elizabeth L. Hamilton our Radio Show’s “2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner”, an Internationally known expert in teaching “high moral values”, “character” to students in public and private schools sent us an article on improving academic and language skills through studying a musical instrument. Elizabeth Hamilton’s site for “lesson plans and other materials” for teachers and parents will be included.

The new school year is also a wonderful opportunity to start learning a musical instrument to learn discipline, cooperation, teamwork, motivation, concentration and self-esteem. Studying a musical instrument develops millions of new connections, synapses, between nerve cells in the brain. Many of the world’s scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors, teachers, authors, computer scientists, accountants, CPAs, lawyers, and artists are also musicians. “Let’s Make Music” (July 14, 2017) from Coast Reporter. “Learning to play a musical instrument can enhance your mood and your brain … Research shows that making music regularly can improve your cognitive power, increase your IQ and even change the shape of your brain, making it stronger and better equipped to store information. It’s especially powerful when musical studies begin in childhood, but anyone can benefit, throughout their lifetime.” http://www.coastreporter.net/community/features/let-s-make-music-1.21118281

Included are several articles by master teachers, Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong best selling authors of “The First Days of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher. Their book provides “teachers with step-by step instructions for effectively organizing and structuring their classrooms”.

Radio Show Feature Question for September 2017: Craig E. Stevens how does Classical music play a part of your life as a teacher, retired Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force, husband, father, and grandfather, and what musical instruments do you play?

http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/one-minute-radio-show-2017/

Our blog and Radio Show features Craig E. Stevens, history teacher, retired Master Sergeant of the U. S. Air Force, husband, father of two children, grandfather and life long musician. Mr. Craig Stevens is passionate about his family, teaching history, playing music and helping others. Craig and I met at Toastmasters, a speaking organization, when I was Area Governor.

Craig Steven’s Growing Up Years: Craig Steven’s was born in Clovis, New Mexico on Cannon Air Force Base to H.R. Stevens who passed in 2012 and Dorothy Anthony Stevens, on May 21, 1962.

Mr. Stevens: “My father was a Drum Major for a brief time at Florida A & M College. My Mother loved the piano and for a brief time took lessons in our home. She discontinued lessons to go back to school and get her Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. My parents loved singing and enjoyed singing Hymns.  My two sisters, my self, along with my parents sang together in Church.”

“My Father joined the Air Force in 1954 and served until 1962.”

Dr. Frank: “Do you have any siblings and did they study a musical instrument?”

Mr. Stevens: “I am the oldest of three children. My sister Erika who is 3 years younger began the Violin in the 3rd grade and sang in Choir and Jazz Choir in High School. She majored in Vocal performance at Abilene Christian University and joined the Air Force Band in 1986. She is currently a Elementary Music Teacher in the Dallas Independent School District and a Master Sergeant in the Texas Air National Guard Band.  As a vocalist in the Air National Guard Band she has deployed overseas, performed for dignitaries including several U.S Presidents, performed the National Anthem for sporting events on Network TV and sung “God Bless America” during the 7th Inning Stretch of a Major League Baseball World Series game between the St Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.”

“My sister Jody began taking private piano lessons with my mother and I but she did not like to practice and did not continue with the lessons. She sings regularly in her Church choir.  The three of us all attended Abilene Christian University at the same time and were members of the Big Purple Marching Band.  I was a member of the Drumline and they were in the Flag Corp.”

Dr. Frank:  “When did you begin your musical training in percussion and drums and when did you begin studying the piano? How old were you and did you play through high school?”

Mr. Stevens: “My music training began in the 4th grade (age 10) when I began playing percussion in the Elementary School Band. I started with a pair of sticks and a drum pad learning the basics before I received a snare drum. I continued with percussion through middle school where I learned to play the drum set in the Jazz Band. In Middle School and High School I learned to play keyboard percussion, Bells, Xylophone, Marimba, Timpani, Bass Drum, and Cymbals.”

“During middle school my parents purchased a used piano because my Mom and Sister Jody were going to begin lessons.  I told my Mom that I always loved the Piano and wanted to take lessons as well. So the piano teacher that was a member of our Church came over one night a week and gave the three of us a lesson.”

In High School I was in Marching Band, Concert Band and the Jazz Ensemble on percussion and the drum set. My High School Band director Gerry Noonan was a Baritone Sax player who worked professionally in the Denver area. He knew of my interest in Jazz Piano as I spent my lunchtime playing Jazz with other students and he recommended a Jazz Pianist that I should study with. I ended lessons with my other teacher and began to study with Mr. Mort Mann a Jazz Pianist who taught lessons out of his Piano studio in the basement of his home.”

Mr. Stevens: “I was primarily a percussionist and played piano at school during lunch and with a pop/jazz combo that included students from my High School.  I began to play piano in a pop music ensemble at Southwestern Christian College and then at Abilene Christian University I played Piano in the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo.”

Dr. Frank: “What was your favorite subject in high school and did you have a favorite teacher who inspired you?” 

 Mr. Stevens: “Mrs. Shirley Finey was my American History Teacher during my 11th grade in high school.  She was a great history teacher who used role-play and reenactments to help us to learn.  I can recall a mock court debate that we did in class and after the class she told me that I should become a Lawyer, because I did a good job of arguing my points during the debate.”

Dr. Frank: “Where did you attend college and graduate school and what was your major and did any of your college professors inspire you?”   

Mr. Stevens: “Southwestern Christian College for my Associate Degree and Abilene Christian University for my Bachelors Degree. I Majored in Piano and Percussion.  Mr. John Daniels was my Jazz Band instructor and I also performed with him in a faculty/student Jazz Combo for events on campus and in Abilene. Dr. Ed George was the Assistant Director of Bands and a great mentor who took me in and taught me a lot as I worked for him over the summers.  Dr. Jack Boyd was a great Musicologist that taught me a lot about music History, and Dr. Ron Rathbun was my piano instructor that helped me develop on the piano.”

Craig Stevens’ Military Career Dr. Frank: “When did you join the military and begin playing in the band?”

Mr. Stevens: “After completing my Bachelors of Music Performance degree at Abilene Christian University in May of 1986.  I setup an audition to become a member of the Air Force Band. After winning the audition I entered the Air Force Band and was shipped to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas on September 7, 1986 to begin Basic Military Training. I completed training in late October and proceeded to my first Duty Station at Kessler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi in November of 1986.  I was assigned to the 502nd Air Force Band of the Gulf Coast, and performed in the unit Jazz Band and Marching Band.”

Dr. Frank: “Did your children study musical instruments?” 

Mr. Stevens: “Both of my two Daughters played the Clarinet during middle School and in High School Marching Band and Concert Band.”

Dr. Frank:  “Do you think studying musical instruments, percussion and piano, helped you to be a better student in school?”

Mr. Stevens: “My experiences in and with music have impacted my life in many ways, performing in front of an audience helped to me to stand before an audience to speak.  Playing in various music ensembles from Marching/Concert Band, Orchestras to Jazz Combos helped me to develop teamwork and the ability to collaborate with others to create music.  I have traveled the world and met people of all nationalities and cultures, my knowledge of music and art allowed me to explore the history of the places I visited and to have a way to communicate even if I did not speak the language of the people.  Music after all is the international language.  Overall I believe studying music was of great benefit to me growing up but I did not understand what it was doing for me while I was younger but I can appreciate my musical background now as I reflect on what I have accomplished in life.”

Dr. Frank: Did you return to the university to train as a teacher in history?”

Mr. Stevens: “Yes, I went to Old Dominion University to complete my Post Bachelor’s Certification to get the hours needed for a teacher’s license in Virginia. I am attending the College of William and Mary to earn a Master’s degree in education leadership so I can become an administrator.”

Dr. Frank: “What high school do you teach at, what grades, and what subjects?”  

Mr. Stevens: “I teach at Jamestown High School in the Social Studies department.  I teach United States and Virginia History to 11th graders and World Geography to 10 th graders.”

Dr. Frank: “As a new teacher in the public schools of Williamsburg, Virginia can you share with us your approach for teaching and motivating your students?”   

Mr. Stevens: “I approach my classes as the guide that is going to lead the students on a journey of discovery through the curriculum material.  I will learn and be inspired by them as I hope to inspire them to learn from the information that we will discover.  I treat each member of the class with dignity and believe that each student is capable of learning.”

Dr. Frank: “How long have you been teaching?”

Mr. Stevens: “I have taught two full school years and one half of a school year.  This fall will begin my 3rd full school year.”

Dr. Frank: “What is the most challenging part of teaching?”

Mr. Stevens: “Managing over 170 students!  I produce worksheets and learning materials for the classes and collect and grade work and tests.  When the classes get rolling it is a tough task keeping all the classes paper work separated and organized.”

Dr. Frank: “What is your teaching philosophy?”

Mr. Stevens: “I believe in dignity and equity for all students that are in my classes.  Students will be in an environment that is open and accepting of every student, that respects different viewpoints and ideals. But seeks to engage those various ideals and views so that everyone can learn from them and appreciate the uniqueness of other individuals.”

Dr. Frank: “How will you start your first day of the new school year, your first minute of your first class and what procedures will you establish?”

Mr. Stevens: “Letting the students know where we are going in the course, preview the major assignments that the students will accomplish.  Establish class procedures so students will know how we will work throughout the semester and year.  I will make sure the students have the calendar and syllabus that will guide the students during the course.”

“Thank you Craig Stevens for your service in the U. S. Air Force and for inspiring, motivating, and encouraging your students in grades 10th, and 11th to enjoy learning history.”

Elizabeth L. Hamilton our Radio Show’s “2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner”, is an Internationally known expert in teaching “high moral values”, “character” to students in public and private schools.  For lesson plans, activities, and a wealth of information on character building” go to http://character-in-action.com/

Elizabeth Hamilton sent the following article to us:A CHILD’S BRAIN DEVELOPS FASTER WITH EXPOSURE tO MUSIC EDUCATION” (June 19, 2016) “A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California shows that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception.”

https://musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/a-childs-brain-develops-faster-with-exposure-to-music/

Dr. Harry Wong was asked What do you tell teachers who don’t establish classroom management techniques soon enough? If they’ve missed the first week or month of school, is it too late?” Dr. Wong, “I’m asked this question all the time. I tell the teachers who ask it to go home and ask them selves, “What one procedure can I establish tomorrow? Then I tell them to work out the steps for that procedure. The next day, they introduce that one procedure to the students. They explain it, model it, and rehearse it and rehearse it and rehearse it. The next week they introduce another procedure.. and so on.”

Dr. Rosemary Wong was asked by Education Week Teacher to “give an example of what you mean by procedures? ”She responded, “ … if you could close your eyes and say to yourself, “This is something I’d like to have happen in my classroom,”…. then you need to come up with a procedure for it. ..You need to teach the procedure, and there are three basic steps to doing that. The first is to explain it. The second step is rehearsing it, physically going through the procedure and making corrections as needed. And the third is reinforcing it, which you can do by acknowledging that the procedure is being carried out correctly.” Remember to teach all “three steps”.

http://www.educationworld.com/a_issues/chat/chat008.shtml

10 Tools for Success on the First Days of School – by Drs. Harry & Rosemary Wong

Prevention:  The Key to Solving Discipline Problems – by Drs. Harry & Rosemary Wong

 

“Four Keys to Developing Great Leaders” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM

Everyone is a teacher to someone. Celebrities, athletes, and people in the public spotlight may not want to be viewed as a role model; but they are. So are you.

Everyone is a teacher to someone. Celebrities, athletes, and people in the public spotlight may not want to be viewed as a role model; but they are.

So are you. With your family, the people you work with, and within your community. The lessons that we teach others by the way we live our every day lives speak louder than any ad campaign.

One person who has been lauded as the “winning-est coach” of all time, John Wooden, viewed himself as more of a teacher than a coach.

“Knowledge is not enough.”

Coach Wooden in his early years as a basketball coach at Dayton High School said, “I was a leader who couldn’t teach but didn’t know it.” His team was having a losing season. He was “knowledgeable” and experienced about the game and knew the essentials but he did not know “how to teach it”. In his Pyramid of Success, Coach calls knowledge “Skill” and put it “in the heart” of his Pyramid.

Teach students how to do it!

Coach said, his former coach at Martinsville High School, Glenn Curtis had the skill and knew “how to teach”. Coach said, “Knowledge is not enough. You must be able to effectively transfer what you know to those you manage-not just the nuts and bolts material, but your standards, values, ideals, beliefs, as well as your way of doing things. Most of all, you must teach those under your leadership how to become a real team rather than a group of individuals who simply work at the same place for the same boss. All this is only possible if you know how to teach.”

Coach Wooden’s Four Principles of Effective Teaching:

As an English teacher, Coach learned how to teach by breaking down “teaching into a set of four components: demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition. These four principles are the key to effective teaching.”

Lessons: Teach with Patience.

Coach Wooden said, “Mistakes that are corrected by a leader-a teacher who is fair, knowledgeable, and patient quickly disappear. There is something inherently simple, noble, and modest about a leader who sees his role as a teacher, not as a boss. The teacher’s function is to help the student to be their best; a boss views his employees as helping the organization achieve goals. Coach wanted his players to know that they were working with him, not for him.”

One of my first teachers was my Grandmother Mary Chernick Leader. When I was seven, Grandma Mary came to visit us. When she discovered I could not read, she quietly sat down beside me and patiently pointed to the page in my book and read a line on the page, sounding out each word for me. She then had me repeat that line slowly and carefully pronouncing each word and then asked me to try the next line the same way. Grandma enjoyed reading and explained to me how you could visit anywhere in the world and go on an adventure through reading a book.

On a table nearby, Grandma had a large Hershey’s Chocolate bar and a small bottle of soda pop. Every page I read pronouncing the words correctly, Grandma would hand me as a prize, for good work, a piece of chocolate and a sip of soda pop. This was our “little secret” as my Momma never allowed soda or chocolate in the house.

Grandma taught me to read with kindness and patience. If I made a mistake she would say quietly, “Mimi, sound it out slowly. Try it again, you can do it!”

She was a ferocious reader who devoured newspapers, biographies, and she loved doing crossword puzzles. These efforts kept her mentally sharp and helped her in her efforts of teaching me to read.

Coach Wooden led by Example: “Action Speaks Louder Than Words.”

Coach Wooden said, “I used to smoke cigarettes as a young high school coach at South Bend. I would quit during the basketball season to set a good example, but then I was also setting an example by smoking-a bad one. So I quit.” My example, I felt, meant more than my words.”

More is caught than taught in leadership. Practice what you preach.

One of Coach Wooden’s favorite poem’s that helped him quit smoking was written in the mid-’30s:

“No written word, no spoken plea can teach our youth what they should be. Nor all the books on all the shelves, it’s what the teachers are themselves.”

When I was 17, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU, as a full scholarship student on the violin. As part of the scholarship obligation, I played my violin as a member of the Richmond Symphony, studied and excelled in my freshman classes, and assisted Professor Peter Zaret, my violin professor, in teaching his adult beginning violin class.

Music education majors were required to take a class on learning to play the violin for credit.

Before attending VCU, I had performed in Carnegie Hall, 4 months before, graduated from high school at the North Carolina School of Performing Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina graduating with my high school diploma, and my Violin Performance Diploma. That summer I performed and studied at Wolf Trap Music Festival in Vienna, Virginia on full scholarship.

In teaching Professor Zaret’s class of adult beginning students they needed to learn the following:

-How to stand straight and tall and balance on their feet, how to hold the violin and bow, how to make a sound on the violin by pulling the bow across the string, and finally where to place their fingers on the violin to play simple tunes.

We began the class from the ground up: Balance of feet

Step 1: I first demonstrated to the beginning adult violin students how to stand straight and tall with their shoulders down and balance his or her feet like a tree with the roots going down.

Also I demonstrated how to bend my left and right arms from the elbows keeping them close to the body.

Step 2:Then each student took a turn by imitation, how he or she would stand straight and tall, balancing their feet, and bending their arms from their elbows keeping them close to the body.

Step 3:Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person, the little details they were missing.

Step 4: Each student again showed by repetition how they were to stand straight and tall, balance their feet, and bend their elbows keeping their shoulders down.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Our next step was to hold the violin. I demonstrated to them how to hold their violin with their shoulders down, bending their arms at the elbow. We followed our four steps -demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition.

We began the process again this time with learning to hold the violin bow.

Step 1: I showed them by demonstrating how to hold my bow by making a loose fist keeping the thumb and fingers curved putting the fingers on the bottom of the bow called the frog. The fingers are close together with the thumb and second finger touching forming an oval shape.

Step 2: Each violin student, as I walked around the room, imitated how I had shown them to do it. As each student took their turn they watched how the other students were doing it. One student had huge hands and had trouble holding the bow. I had him make a loose fist, curving and bending his fingers, and then wrapping his fingers around the bow.

Step 3:Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person the little details they needed for a good position of holding their bows.

Step 4: Each student again showed by repetition how they held their bows.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Our next step was to make a clear sound on the violin with the bow: I demonstrated to them how to put their bows on the string of the violin, drop their elbows a little to put the weight in to the string and pull a sound from the violin by leaning into the string with their index finger on the bow and pulling the bow across the string to make the string vibrate.

Each violin student, as I walked around the room, imitated how I had shown them to do it. When they had difficulty, I would have them lean into the string with their index finger on the bow, dropping their elbow slightly with a little weight added.

Next, going around the room once more, I made corrections showing each person the little details they needed to make a clear focused sound.

Our last step was repetition, repeating the process over and over to practice making a clear smooth sound. I reminded them to practice what we were working on so they would improve by the next lesson.

Each step was done with patience and paying attention to the smallest detail.

Coach Wooden said, “You haven’t taught until they’ve learned.”

Dr. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

By being a role model and adding in to your daily life Coach Wooden’s four components of teaching -demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition you will become a better and more effective leader, coach, mentor, parent, friend, and teacher.

Andrew Hill and Coach Wooden said, “Remember, corrections shouldn’t be given in anger, and if you wait to correct behavior until you are angry, it will be difficult to strip your feelings from your comments. But mistakes that are corrected by a leader-a teacher- who is fair, knowledgeable, and patient quickly disappear. There is also something inherently simple, noble, and modest about a leader who sees his role as teacher, not as boss. The teacher’s function is to help the student to be their best; a boss views his employees as helping the boss achieve his own goals.”

Andrew Hill said, “Coach Wooden wanted his players to know that they were working with him, not for him.” Remember, whether you are a leader, boss, coach, or parent you want the people you are working with to feel that they are “working with” you, not for you!

So, who will you guide and help to improve their skills with Coach Wooden 4 teaching components? Start today! © 2017 Madeline Frank

Contact Madeline for your next speaking engagement at mfrankviola@gmail.com

“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is now available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook:

com(Kindle)

Barnes and Noble(Nook)

iTunes

http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/the-secret-of-teaching-science-and-math-through-music/

“Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is now available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.

com(Kindle)

Barnes and Noble(Nook)

iTunes

Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math”

http://www.madelinefrankviola.com/musical-notes-on-math/

Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World”. This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy. ”Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:

Download Your Copy Today!

Amazon | iTunes | CD Baby

Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is now available. Click on the following link to order your copy of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available as an e-book on Kindle or in book form. Click on the following link:

http://goo.gl/lrJTx

Wishing you and your family a safe September, Labor Day Holiday, from Your Non-Invasive Medicine Music Expert, Madeline

For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award winning teacher, author, researcher, speaker and concert artist. She has found a scientific link between studying and/or listening to musical instruments and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2017 Madeline Frank.

 

 

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