It seems as though our world has gone mad. Watching the news about the war on Ukraine will give a person nightmares, and for those living in the country, it is a nightmare they cannot escape. The constant sirens and bombings, along with little food and no electricity or water are too terrible to think about, and I do not know how they can cope. The beauty of their world is gone.
Several musicians have come forward to give a respite to the war-weary and hopeless. This story touched me and countless others - that through music, comes healing. Violinist Vera Lytochenko played her violin for those hiding in a bomb shelter with her, and her performance touched the world. She gave a rare gift of beauty to her countrymen, and she inspired others to watch her performance as well, because the video of her playing has received over two million views. If you have not seen the performance, please click on this link:
Music has long sustained people in times of trouble. I remember reading a story about some POW's in World War II that had a record player and one Frank Sinatra record. They said that record, with its soothing tones and sweet music, helped them to think of home and gave them the impetus to stay alive until the war was over and they were rescued. Music is inextricably linked to our collective psyches - think of how each generation has its own genre of music, and what that music means.
Often, when school districts are trying to save money, the arts are the first cuts to be made. I have long disagreed with this; I feel that beauty is not an elective, it is a necessity. I hope that when schools re-evaluate their budgets and consider cutting music and art, this performance in a bomb shelter in Ukraine will make them take another look and change their minds. In this crazy world, at least we still have beautiful music.
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books. Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self. However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37
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