ABS Thursday Notes- November 29, 2018

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                                   November 29, 2018





How We Do It and Why

By Mary Siebert

A Well-Tempered Mind demonstrates that by working together, we can make a difference in our children’s lives and replace cultural bankruptcy with a full pocket of good music.  Lord knows we need it.”—Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

“This book should persuade parents and administrators to give education in music its deserved high priority in the schools under their care.” —Walter J. Freeman, M.D., professor of Neuroscience and Molecular & Cellular Biology, UC Berkeley


Five adult musicians perch on teensy first grade chairs, gleaming instruments at their lips. A crisscross-legged group of first-graders gathers curiously on the carpet.  There is a nod, a collective deep breath, a glorious burst of music. Little eyes grow wide and round, little mouths drop open. Wiggles become statues, leaning forward. One little girl turns to stare at me, flushed with delight, as if to say “Can you believe this miracle?” then she quickly turns back. When the music stops, the children sit in bewildered, delighted silence for a moment. The classroom teacher begins the applause, children join in. The smiling musicians introduce themselves and their instruments, and ask the children for comparisons. “What is the same about these instruments? What is different? Which one plays the lowest?” (Demonstrations follow.) The children learn that small instruments play higher than large instruments, just as little dogs have high barks and big dogs have low barks. It is the first day of the “Music, Mind and Learning Quintet” in the 1st Grade.

The Quintet has worked with ABS students every year, since we opened our doors in 2002. They will visit first grade classrooms eight times before winter break, linking their performances with the first grade academic curriculum. The work of this distinguished group of professional musicians is chronicled in A Well-Tempered Mind, a book (available on-line on Amazon and from the University of Chicago Press,) by Peter Perret. Maestro Perret is Conductor Emeritus of the Winston-Salem Symphony, former ABS band director, and one of the founders of our school. He was inspired to create the “Bolton Quintet” after reading of experiments in neuroscience which produced evidence that active listening to music helps develop cognitive abilities in children. With five instrumentalists from the W-S Symphony, he designed a cleverly crafted curriculum that links with reading, comprehension, story structure, science, and math. Mr. Perret worked with Dr. Frank Wood, professor of Neuropsychology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, to develop and test the Quintet program. ABS participated in the study, which was shown to cause significant improvement in emerging readers, reflected on standardized test scores.

One of the hallmarks of the group is that they perform right in the classroom; not in a concert hall. The children grow to regard these musicians (and their instruments) as friends. Music is selected and prepared with meticulous care, including everything from Mozart to the Pink Panther; all performed just a few feet away from 1st graders’ ears. We are honored and delighted to host the Quintet again this year.


Annual Giving

We are now two weeks in to this year’s Annual Giving campaign! We are especially grateful to everyone for their generosity on Giving Tuesday this week and to everyone who has already made a gift or pledge to the school and who has asked friends or extended family to support our school. Thank you so much!

We truly do need help from each family to make a difference for ABS, and to reach our goal of 100% participation! Last year, thanks to your generosity, we had our best year ever for Annual Giving. We hope you will be as generous as you are able as we transition the Annual Giving campaign to the fall this year.

If you are grateful for the joyful learning that happens every day at ABS, if you share our school’s belief that art transcends divisions and inspires learning, please take a moment to make a gift or pledge today.

Total School Participation to Date: 14%

Total Dollars Raised to Date: $21,312

You can make your gift online: artsbasedschool.com/your-support

You can also send in your gift or your pledge in the green envelope that came home in the Thursday Folders, or by coming to the front office.

Thank you!!


Pokemon Problem

We’ve had a recent outbreak of Pokemon card problems, causing hurt feelings, distraction from learning, and sometimes a kerfuffle.    Our handbook policy states: Students should not bring toys, games or electronic devices to school, unless otherwise instructed. Any such items that are brought to school will be taken away and sent to the office for pick up by a parent.  The Afterschool Program will no longer allow Pokemon cards either, so all Pokemon cards should be kept at home.


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, ABS will announce school closings on local TV channels, under “The Arts Based School”.  This information will also be posted on the ABS website (www.artsbasedschool.com).


Waking Up White discussion

It’s not too late to read our Parent Council Book Club selection, Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  We had hoped to meet in November for a book discussion but have been unable to secure a location for our book talk.   If you haven’t quite finished or haven’t had a chance to start, considered picking it up today.  We’ll plan to meet to discuss after the new year.
Want to learn more?    Check out Debby Irving’s website http://www.debbyirving.com/

or listen to her TED talk




Bookmarks Day to support ABS
Shop at Bookmarks on Friday, December 7th to support Arts Based School. 10% of all sales will go back to Arts Based School for books for our media centers. Shop all day (10am-9pm). This is a great opportunity to stock up on books for the holidays and help our media centers get new books!

Author Visit- Jonathan D. Voss will be reading his book Brave Enough for Two at 4pm- young readers, bring your best stuffed animal friend and hear the story of Olive and her stuffed owl Hoot!  (see attached flyer)

While you’re shopping, look for the ABS display to purchase wish list books for our media centers.

You can even order books that are not in stock or pre-order books- just pay for them on December 7th and the school benefits!  (Fans of Dog Man: pre-order the latest installment Brawl of the Wild which comes out 12/24.)


School Picture Orders

School picture orders are due by tomorrow Nov. 30th, ordering after that date will have to be done directly with Strawbridge.


ABS Science Fair

ABS will hold its annual science fair on January 10, 2019.  All students are invited to participate.  Information packets were sent home via Thursday packets soon.  Science Fairs give students an opportunity to think and work independently, develop and refine individual science interests, and engage in critical thinking. Please help your child choose a science fair project topic that aligns with the science standards at his or her grade level. Science standards can be found for each grade level on the ABS website under “Our Students”. Science Fair applications are due to your teacher by Friday, January 4.


Crisis Control Food Drive

K-Kids and Builder’s Club are sponsoring a canned food drive for Crisis Control Ministries, a non-profit organization which provides food for the needy in our community. Please bring non-perishable items in cans and boxes (no class containers, please). Items will be collected in a hallway location outside each grade level. This drive will continue until Friday, Dec. 14.



Around Town…

ABS students Sadie Blalock and Nick Kelley will be performing in Little Theatre’s “An Old Salem Christmas Carol” at SECCA from December 7-22.  Nick is in all of the shows and Sadie is role-sharing and will be in the shows on 12/7, 12/9, 12/14, 12/15 @ 7:30, 12/20 & 12/22.

UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Nutcracker Tea Party is this weekend!  Join us in the Land of Sweets for a performance of The Nutcracker followed by a treat-filled party with your favorite Nutcracker characters!  Performances are 11am and 2pm this Sat, Dec 1st and Sun Dec, 2nd – right here at ABS!  Tickets are available by calling the Stevens Center Box Office or online via the link below.  See the attached flyer to this week’s Notes.  Fun for the whole family!