Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Days Defined: A Musician's View

By Mark T. Burke

Snow Day (def.):  An event created by the falling of snow in an amount considered sufficient to warrant the temporary closure of an institution, typically a school.  (2) The mental state caused by the actual temporary closure of an institution due to falling snow, creating euphoria as defined below.  (3) SYN(s)  Day off, vacation, sleep in, sleep late, sleep all day, lazy day, mental health day, recuperation. (4) A 24 hour high followed by several months of anticipation leading to the impending make up day (see "make up day.")  (5) ANT:  A wasted day, as defined by grandparents who attended school prior to the invention of "Snow Day(s)."  (6)  A justification for the use of technology to shrink standard TV shows into smaller visuals, combining on-screen opportunities to advertise "Mom's Restaurant" and "Quick Melt" products either at top left, top right, or bottom left (for English reading, left to right readers). (7) The euphoria experienced, often associated with an increased appetite, a desire to stay up later the evening prior to the Snow Day, and recognition that within your home, the world around you does not exist for 24 hours.

It's that last part of the definition I think is AWESOME for us musical folks.  Snow days bring great opportunity to do the things we love to do.  They often feel like "free passes" or days without structure or rules.  Playing or practicing our instruments during snow days can be incredibly rewarding.  Our minds are often freed from the many other things we have to accomplish during normal days when we have snow days.

I can't help but throw in some thoughts around why an innovative program like ours is a spot on resource for days like this.  Now I am not saying kids should stay in the house all day during snow days.  Heck, I know I can't.  As teachers, parents, and students, being able to remain active musicians during snow days allows us to harness their true "power" and keep moving forward.  Imagine as teachers having the ability to spend a bit of your day communicating with students about their recorded assignments, listening to their snow day activities and helping students have fun with music during snow days. WOW.

How do you combine snow days with musical activities?  How can we encourage students to take part in musical activities during these amazing days?      

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