ABS Thursday Notes- November 30, 2017

Thursday Notes                           

Published for the Arts Based School Community                            November 30, 2017




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.


ABS Spelling Bee

We will be holding our annual spelling bee for third through eighth grade students on Friday, January 5th. Classroom teachers distributed list to students before the Thanksgiving break.


Crisis Control Food Drive

K-Kids 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. 15.


Parent Council Meeting – Friday, December 15
Please join us for the December Parent Council on Friday, December 15 at 8:15 in the MLK Cafe.  All ABS parents, families, and caregivers are part of Parent Council and are welcome to attend!  Don’t forget that attendance at Parent Council meetings counts toward volunteer hours.  If you have requests for the agenda, please send them to Parent Council Co-Chairs, Joy Blaser (joy.blaser@gmail.com) and Julee Nunley (julee@thenunleys.net) by Friday, December 8.


The holidays are around the corner! Want to give our teachers and staff a gift they’ll love? Use the ABS Teachers and Staff Survey to find out your teacher’s favorite…everything!



Happy Holidays

The holidays can be perplexing for American educators. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study (guidelines for what children should be taught at each grade level) specifies only first grade as a time for focusing on celebrated holidays and special days in communities, while nearly every other grade is expected only to discuss historical figures and practices associated with diverse holidays.  We respect the religious and cultural backgrounds of every student.

Holiday decorations are not used indiscriminately in the classroom or about the school; though they may be used as part of a focused study. We do encourage fun in learning and discovering.  We decorate our walls all year with the brilliant creations of our students. We often incorporate delicious receptions into our art openings and performances. We join together singing songs of peace and understanding. Thank you for supporting us in making every child feel included in the delights of learning together.


High School Information Night

ABS will host counselors, teachers, and administrators from several area high schools for an information session on December 7th from 6-7pm. This will include a brief introduction from the high school reps and time to ask questions and gather information from a variety of schools. High School Information Night will take place in the 7th Street building and all 7th and 8th grade families are invited to attend.


Bookmarks Day to support ABS

Friday, December 1st (tomorrow)
Shop at Bookmarks tomorrow (Friday, December 1st) 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!

While you are there, check out the display table to see some of the books on our wish list.  If you would like to give a book to the ABS libraries, select a book from this table and leave it with the cashier after purchasing.

We have two author visits planned for this day.
-Special Illustration Workshop and Storytime with Kyle Webster, ABS Parent and the author and illustrator of Please Say Please at 3 p.m.
-Book Reading and Signing with Gabe Deibler, ABS third grader and the author of Bugs Broken Nose at 5:30 pm.

Please Share our Facebook Event page with family and friends!
Picture Orders

Last day to turn in picture orders is Friday, Dec. 1st.  Any orders after that will need to be sent directly to Strawbridge.


Imprints at ABS

Imprints Cares will begin offering before and after school care onsite at ABS in January.    Registration for the program begins this week.  See attached flyer for more information about the program and registration go online to ImprintsCares.org/Expanded-Learning


Around Town…

UNCSA’s Preparatory Dance Program presents Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Tea in our own Alex Ewing Theater.  Call the Stevens Center Box Office at 336-721-1945 to get your tickets today!  Performances are Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd.   Don’t miss this wonderful holiday event!


Upcoming Events

ABS Day at Bookmarks

Fri, December 1

8th to Winston Cup Museum

Fri, December 1, 8:00am – 9:30am

Friday Sing

Fri, December 1, 1:50pm – 2:20pm

1st – Quintet

Mon, December 4, 8:30am – 10:30am

5th – Greensboro Science Center

Tue, December 5, 9:00am – 1:30pm

High School Info Night

Thu, December 7, 6pm – 7pm

ABS Board Meeting

Tue, December 12, 5:45pm – 6:45pm

Band/chorus rehearsal

Wed, December 13, 11:30am – 3:30pm

7-8 Band/chorus concerts

Wed, December 13, 7pm – 8pm

Thu, December 14, 9:30am – 11:30am