Month: December 2012

Fumbling Toward Composer Study by Dr. Jennifer Spencer

I have always loved music.  Some of my earliest memories involve listening to my mother play the piano.  I started taking piano lessons at age five, I was sight reading by age ten, and at age twelve I sang soprano in the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Beethoven’s Mount of Olives with a youth choir.  Later, I taught myself to play guitar, and I was involved in All-State choirs and University Chorales.  I still love to participate in the seasonal performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Limestone College Community Choir when I can. I have always fancied myself as somewhat of a musician, and yet composer study is one area where I have always really struggled.  In this blog, I am going to try to deconstruct why I think I have been so unsuccessful with composer study in the past.  Then I will share how I accidentally stumbled upon success during the first term of this year and how that will change what I do with composer study from this point forward. First, I think I always …

Mason for All: Gillingham Charter Reviewed by HollyAnne Dobbins

  “Charlotte firmly believed that her liberal education ideas were applicable to all children regardless of class, status, or ability, and she put her ideas into practice, as she always did.” ~John Thorley, Foreword to School Education   After my wonderful trip to England last summer, I have found myself even more attached to the ideas and spirit of Charlotte Mason’s work in education. Thus, when Dr. Nola Stephens, Professor of English and Linguistics at Covenant College, announced to our Advanced Composition class this fall that we would be selecting our own topics for a semester-long research project, I immediately began investigating ways to incorporate Charlotte’s work into my own. With guidance from Dr. Beckman, I decided to research the methods and success of two charter schools: The Classical Academy and Gillingham Charter School. The Classical Academy is a large, established, and successful charter school in Colorado that utilizes some of Mason’s methods such as nature, picture, and composer studies. Gillingham, on the other hand, is located in Pennsylvania and is a small, new school …