structuring a classroom, lesson planning, proper pace of
KINGS OF DELTA MUSIC
instruction, establishing discipline, and time management.
By Lucy A. Warner, Lower School Music
Rich and Christine were able to deliver a full book’s worth of information in a four-day workshop. Each day we learned important lessons, and as teachers having to put ourselves in our students’ shoes, each lesson was much more empowering, inspiring, and valuable. At the conclusion of the four-day residency, we left with our brains full of wise advice, 70 pages of handwritten notes, numerous resources, Rich and Christine’s book, and new friendships with other motivated educators ready to embrace the new school year with fresh energy and a passion for creating a happy place for their students to learn and love learning. Rich joked at the end of our session that when we walked into our classrooms on the first day of school in September, we should envision ourselves as sheriffs of the Wild West. The sheriff
Lucille started the fire. But it wasn’t her idea. Actually, she wasn’t really the one who caused the flames to burst out of control. She just worked there. Two men arguing over Lucille late one night in a little club in Twist, Arkansas, engaging their fists and the rest of their bodies to do the talking, knocked over a large canister that served as a heater. This container was half-filled with kerosene, and the flames fueled by the liquid provided everyone in the place with welcome warmth, as it did every winter night: staff, clients—and the band. The evening of the fight, as kerosene spilled out onto the floor, and as the river of fire furiously expanded and clutched with rage at every splinter and beam, and just after all but two unlucky souls had stampeded out into the cold night air, a lone figure was seen running back into the burning building. A few seconds later, as the walls began to cave in amidst a mass of gargantuan red and yellow sparks, that same figure reappeared, racing out of the club, just as the wooden structure roared into its final burst of destruction. He was panting, running, and carrying a musical instrument.
is strong, confident, calm, in control, and ready for anything. All the teachers laughed and shrugged off this silly concept, but on the first day of school, that image of a sheriff standing in a deserted town in the Wild West did pop into our heads, and we were ready. We are so thankful to the Parents Association for giving us the opportunity to attend this workshop and enabling us to learn the traits of an effective teacher. I
y summer stipend trip in August 2010 was inspired to a large degree by the musician who saved his guitar that
night: B.B. King. The day after he miraculously escaped the fire, the man now revered as the King of the Blues, decided to name his guitar—and subsequent guitars that he has played in intimate clubs and ample concert halls throughout the world— Lucille. As B.B. tells it, he named his guitar Lucille to remind himself never to fight over a woman, and never again to run into a burning building. A compelling, true tale. But even more compelling is B.B. King’s music. It moves millions of people to smile, to cry, to touch joy and sadness at the deepest levels, to feel alive through the power of this bluesmaster’s raw and yet rich, buttery sound. What better gift to bring to the Lower School Browning boys than an appreciation of the enduring American musical art form so heartily exemplified in B.B. King’s music: the blues? And its preponderance of musical improvisation provides a natural link for the students to easily engage with a related, thrilling style of music also born and raised in the U.S.: jazz! I set out last August to capture some of the “feel” and a greater appreciation for the area of the country in which a number