What will camp look like in 2021?

It’s a good question. The answer? Different. And in some ways, more important than ever before. Camp is known for the personal challenges it can offer, the activities that build grit, resilience, and character. That said, I’ve been speaking with camp directors about what they expect for the year ahead, and one commented that thisContinue reading “What will camp look like in 2021?”

Why do parents go private?

The answer can be expressed in a single word: choice.  “While education in public schools is still the dominant form of education in Canada,” says Deani Van Pelt, “the data indicates parents are increasingly looking to independent schools for more choice in how their children are educated.” Van Pelt is director of the Fraser Institute’sContinue reading “Why do parents go private?”

How do you build a school?

For architect Elie Newman, it begins with a community, a sense of possibility, and a master plan “As they’ve grown they’ve filled out the spaces and changed their uses,” says Elie Newman about Northmount School. “And now they’re busting at the seams.” That’s true in more ways than one. Northmount is an independent Catholic schoolContinue reading “How do you build a school?”

Dressing the future

For a quarter century, Kirstin Broatch has been dressing students for learning and for life We know intuitively that companies are made up of people, not buildings and banks, though we may be prone to forget that sometimes. Should you ever need one, Kirstin Broatch is a particularly good reminder. Owner and CEO of InSchoolwear,Continue reading “Dressing the future”

Corn Nut Creek, “Feels Like Travelling Home”

This isn’t a perfect album, and one of the problems with it is that it’s too short. We’re used to albums being a certain length, and while shorter collections are fine, they’re not optimal. There’s not enough time or breadth to really settle in, assuming that you still listen to recordings as albums rather thanContinue reading “Corn Nut Creek, “Feels Like Travelling Home””

Erynn Marhshall and Carl Jones, “Old Tin”

Will Carter, the founder of Clifftop, perhaps the premiere old-time festival in the world, has said that old-time music is about “that tradition of participating in the art. It’s not about a stage.” Of course, there is a stage at Clifftop, though, true to the concept, it’s the participation that people go for—dozens of circlesContinue reading “Erynn Marhshall and Carl Jones, “Old Tin””

Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely

Twenty-five men, 350 pounds of supplies, and a chance to change the world. “This was not simply some new Arctic expedition,” says historian Michael Robinson, “this was really an attempt at a new science of the world.” It was the international polar year, and fourteen expeditions set off to collect data about the world. Together,Continue reading “Living in the moment with Adolphous Greely”

If you haven’t heard Twisted Pine’s “Right Now,” here’s why you need to

There has always been a streak of rebellion running through the musical world, with artists seeking to be new and different. Bill Monroe was one of those, and frankly, so was Mozart, though it’s perhaps hard to see from our vantage point. Some are angry different, like Jimi Hendrix shredding the US national anthem atContinue reading “If you haven’t heard Twisted Pine’s “Right Now,” here’s why you need to”

A multi-faceted approach to learning at a distance

Parents want clear plans, strong leadership, and options. And that’s exactly what Blyth Academy is delivering.  “We’ve learned a lot,” says Kathy Young of the experience of educating through a pandemic. “I think some of it is what good educators have always known,” such as the value of personalised instruction, the need to be responsiveContinue reading “A multi-faceted approach to learning at a distance”

Bringing character forward

While it’s easy to recognize character—we know it when we see it—it’s famously more difficult to define. Harder still is to describe how character arises. In his recent book, The Second Mountain, David Brooks struggles with the concept, something that he’s been doing since he wrote, The Road to Character in 2015. There he describedContinue reading “Bringing character forward”

Willard Gayheart and Friends, “At Home in the Blue Ridge”

A few years ago, when Dori Freeman released her debut, self-titled album, it seemed that she had sprung, fully formed, from the head of Zeus. Well, this album, on which she participates, fills in the blanks. Willard Gayheart is her grandfather. As the titled of the album suggests, they’re at home, just hanging and picking.Continue reading “Willard Gayheart and Friends, “At Home in the Blue Ridge””

Caroline Herring, “Verse by Verse”

Throughout her career Caroline Herring has regularly looked to literary sources for her writing. Her companion discs of 2010, “Silver Apples of the Moon” and “Golden Apples of the Sun,” gain their titles from a Yeats poem, “The Song of Wandering Aengus.” In 2011 she released an album of songs retelling a children’s story, “TheContinue reading “Caroline Herring, “Verse by Verse””

Che Apalache’s, “Rearrange My Heart”

Joe Troop was born and raised in North Carolina, where he learned bluegrass; he later moved to Argentina, where he taught it. With three of his students he formed Che Apalache: Pau Barjau (banjo), Franco Martino (guitar) and Martin Bobrik (mandolin). They play bluegrass spectacularly, and clearly know the traditions backward and forward and backContinue reading “Che Apalache’s, “Rearrange My Heart””

Checking in with the Foghorn Stringband

The Foghorn Stringband was founded more than 15 years ago, and their origin story is as charming and unexpected as the music that they play. Sammy Lind is from Minnesota, and Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms are from Washington state, one from the farmland in the east, the other from the coast. They started playing AppalachianContinue reading “Checking in with the Foghorn Stringband”

A sense of place

Bill Fisher, outgoing executive director of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, reflects on what community means to him for the Banff Canmore Community Foundation “It was pretty tenuous, I think,” says Bill Fisher of the earliest days of the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, which he has lead as executive director since 2018. That may haveContinue reading “A sense of place”

Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton

While there have been other recordings that document Doc Watson’s early years as a performing musician, they tend to shine a light more directly on him as a stage performer, which of course is what he became. This recording, Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton, distinguishes itself in some key ways. It’s earlier, for one—it’s Watson’sContinue reading “Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton”

Glarea, set to open this fall, is the school to watch

“The school, pretty much at this time last year, was just an idea,” says Nadia Irshād, an administrator who has been with Glarea since it launched nearly five years ago. The idea was to offer students a uniquely immersive academic experience, one that would contribute to their understanding of themselves as learners and build theContinue reading “Glarea, set to open this fall, is the school to watch”

155 years of Trinity College School

“I had an accident with gunpowder,” wrote Peter Perry in his diary. He was a student in the very first cohort at TCS, and was maybe a bit of a handful. In time his diary entries became more detailed, if equally enigmatic. “Thursday, [April] 12th. Rainy all day. Dinner: veal and roly-poly. Did not take any pudding.Continue reading “155 years of Trinity College School”

Jake Blount, “Spider Tales”

One of the reasons that the Harry Smith anthology of American Folk Music was such a sensation when it was released in 1952 was that it demonstrated that, to a nation watching “I Love Lucy” and listening to Jack Benny, there were more voices out there than they perhaps realised. That, in essence, it wasContinue reading “Jake Blount, “Spider Tales””

The Special Consensus, “Chicago Barn Dance”

“The good thing about playing music,” says Greg Cahill, “is that you feel good a lot of the time, because you get to play music, and make a lot of great friends, and meet a lot of nice, really good people.” Cahill founded The Special Consensus in 1975, and if there is a guiding principleContinue reading “The Special Consensus, “Chicago Barn Dance””

What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre?

What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre? I can’t answer that question, of course—certainly we can’t really know what it’s like to be anyone other than who we are—though the outlines are there. I met with him one morning at the patio of Keegan’s in Lower Bay, just off the beach, the waves rollingContinue reading “What is it like to be Jamell Ollivierre?”

History, fireworks, and sound

Since 1991, the International Fireworks Competition in Hanover, Germany, has been one of the most distinctive festivals in the region. For five nights each summer, teams of world-class pyrotechnicians arrive from around the globe to mount displays against a rich musical background, hosted on the grounds of an important cultural and historical site. One ofContinue reading “History, fireworks, and sound”

Live your passion!

“I think my first instructor was confused the first time I went for a lesson,” says Katie Drysdale, who began guitar lessons nearly two years ago. “He called my name and I responded. Maybe he thought the name ‘Katie’ was a young person’s name. Mind you, he looked about 12 years old.” Katie was 87. Continue reading “Live your passion!”

Building a better school

“It’s wonderfully constructed,” says Sugata Mitra. “It’s just that we don’t need it anymore.” Mitra is a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University, best known for his “Hole in the Wall” experiment, which he discussed in a wildly popular TED talk. He was addressing an idea that comes up from time to time, that educationContinue reading “Building a better school”

Natalie MacMaster, “Sketches”

Natalie MacMaster is one of those artists that is described from time to time as a national treasure. She is that, but she’s a local treasure, too. There’s a video online of her going to play at Glencoe Mills Hall on Cape Breton with Bela Fleck in tow. The music, of course, is fantastic, thoughContinue reading “Natalie MacMaster, “Sketches””

The right sound for the right space

When PS.SPEICHER decided to augment their signature collection with a signature venue, they needed a sound system that reflected the growing reputation of their brand. They found it in Kling and Freitag’s VIDA speaker system. PS.SPEICHER, a museum in Einbeck, Germany, is home to the world’s largest collection of German motorcycles—from a Hildebrand & Wolfmüller,Continue reading “The right sound for the right space”

The long journey of Doc Watson

(KDHX) It’s perhaps easy to underestimate the impact that Doc Watson has had over the course of his career, in part because of the ways we choose to express it. We like superlatives—first, longest, fastest, best. He’s credited as the first to play fiddle tunes on guitar, and certainly he’s been influential in that regard,Continue reading “The long journey of Doc Watson”

The most beneficial aspect of therapy isn’t a thing, but a relationship

For Athletix and Beauchamp Fitness “People are always asking how it is different from a TENS machine,” says Michael Montoya. As a professional who works daily with neuromuscular stimulation, that can admittedly be a bit frustrating. Certainly Dr. Michael Ho—who markets a device known generically Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)—commands a disproportionate amount of attentionContinue reading “The most beneficial aspect of therapy isn’t a thing, but a relationship”

Gee’s Bend Quilters, “Boykin, Alabama: Sacred Spirituals of Gee’s Bend”

For Penguin Eggs Everything about this album is an absolute, unqualified, unbridled delight. It’s four women who live in Boykin, Alabama, and take part in a quilting tradition that began in the 19th century. They sing while they quilt, and the songs are polished just as the needles are, through endless passes through the fabricContinue reading “Gee’s Bend Quilters, “Boykin, Alabama: Sacred Spirituals of Gee’s Bend””

Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat”

For Penguin Eggs Frank Solivan spent much of his youth in Alaska, which perhaps accounts for his range of talents. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a poet. He plays guitar, violin, and mandolin. He writes songs, sings, and is the leader of Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, the IBMA band of the year inContinue reading “Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, “If You Can’t Stand the Heat””

Behind the scenes at the museum

Playing and learning within Toronto’s foremost cultural and scientific institutions For Our Kids Media “Maybe some children have overdosed on simulations on their computers at home and just want to see something solid — a fact of life,” says paleontologist Richart Fortey.  “Maybe a museum should be the place to have an encounter with the bonyContinue reading “Behind the scenes at the museum”

Why do we go to school?

The best reasons aren’t always the ones you think of first by Glen Herbert “It’s very Harry Potter,” says Michael Simmonds, chuckling a bit as he does. I was speaking to him about what Havergal College does best, a school in Toronto where he is vice principal. Havergal is one of the foremost girls’ schoolsContinue reading “Why do we go to school?”

What makes a great teacher great?

What should parents be looking for in educators? Beth Alexander, a primary and elementary instructor at The Linden School, is a teacher that a lot of people think is great, including the prime minister. In 2017, she received the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and this year she was the first Canadian educator to earn a Lowell Milken CentreContinue reading “What makes a great teacher great?”

How do you change the world?

Lynn Zimmer did it with a note on message board, a lot of hard work, and a sense of hope in human beings and their capabilities “I’m very practical,” says Lynn Zimmer. “I’d reached the point where I just felt very tired of having to be angry about everything all the time. I was lookingContinue reading “How do you change the world?”

Camping on campus

Summer camps hosted by some of the best universities in North America for Our Kids Media Camp is about environments: allowing kids to access new ones, to engage with new communities of people, and to enter new communities of interest. In some instances, that’s the university environment. For many campers, sessions hosted on campus offer theContinue reading “Camping on campus”

Missy Raines, “Royal Traveller”

Women in bluegrass—unfortunately, sadly—get short shrift. Ask about the greats, and you’ll open the floodgates for a lot of testosterone. That said, women have long been doing great work and, while often enough, have actually been acclaimed for it. Much of what we think of as bluegrass guitar—a rhythm with a melody picked within it—isContinue reading “Missy Raines, “Royal Traveller””

Checking in with Alternadad: A conversation with Neal Pollack

In 2007, Neal Pollack wrote a book that would become a touchstone for parents who were determined to raise children—as the marketing copy for the book suggested—without growing up too much themselves. They wanted to be cool, and they wanted their kid to be cool, complete with a solid appreciation of the Ramones. In theContinue reading “Checking in with Alternadad: A conversation with Neal Pollack”

Profile: Carmette Gooding

By Glen Herbert, for The Grenadines Initiative “We call it the Big Rock,” says Carmette Gooding, “but it’s the only rock.” She recalls jumping off of it into the surf when she was growing up on Bequia. “We’d wait for the biggest wave to come, then we’d jump in it. When the wave was breaking.Continue reading “Profile: Carmette Gooding”

NICK HORNBUCKLE: Twelve by Two (Plus or Minus One)

For Sing Out! On 12 X 2 (+/-1) – pronounced “Twelve by Two (plus or minus one)” – Nick Hornbuckle takes up a dozen old-time tunes and makes a lovely bit of magic. The title refers to the number of the tunes, each played as a duet, more or less. Hornbuckle is joined by five kindred spiritsContinue reading “NICK HORNBUCKLE: Twelve by Two (Plus or Minus One)”

Do island students need STEM?

STEM is about engaging collaboratively, thinking creatively, across disciplines. And, in education and business, its fast becoming the way of the world. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And, at its simplest, that’s what STEM programs provide: an intensive focus on the hard sciences. In practice, however, it’s much more thanContinue reading “Do island students need STEM?”