The musician, video artist, and perennial drifter James Ferraro first appeared in my life in the form of an idea, passed on by a college friend of mine who had spent a few months couch-surfing with him during a semester abroad in Berlin. We were sitting in his mother’s SUV, listening to a slowed down version of “We Are On The Race Track,” a minor chart hit by the ‘80s Jamaican soul diva Precious Wilson. Listen also to this interview with James Ferraro:
James had gotten my friend in the habit of playing old vinyl ‘45s at 33 speed and dubbing signal onto reams of a warped cassette tape, and I remember being transfixed for the first time by the sound of a pop song in slow motion. The singer’s muscular alto had transformed into a mournful, slothful baritone; the upbeat disco instrumentals seemed to sag under their own weight. It was like uncovering a second song, a second existence, that lay dormant in the first.
If he does not suddenly decide to fall off the radar completely, James Ferraro will be remembered alongside folks like Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore, John Maus, and Spencer Clark as one of the musicians who, at the turn of the 21st century, elevated the crackle and grain of low-fidelity recording to a field of aesthetic exploration.
One of my all-time favorite artists is the super singer/songwriter/producer Maurice White who passed away in February 2016. He founded the group Earth Wind and Fire. His life story and his musical journey have been such an inspiration for me throughout the years. No other artist has come close to Maurice, leaving me continually in awe of the mastery of his craft…He was truly a genius.
Maurice was born in Memphis TN, on Dec. 19th, 1941. He went to Crane Junior College and the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He was taught as a young boy that music “stirs the soul and warms the heart.” He sang in the local church choir and was a featured soloist. His grandmother sang gospel music around the house all the time, and his father listened to jazz in his office (he was a doctor) and he remembers listening to the music in his youth.
His passion and drive for music would prove successful. He became a session drummer for Okeh Records and Chess Records, working with such greats as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Little Milton, Howlin Wolf and more. White also worked and toured with Ramsey Lewis. He aspired to form a completely unique group, focusing on musicianship, and multi-cultural spirituality.
Maurice formed a group called the Salty Peppers, which later evolved into the super-group Earth Wind and Fire. (He named the group after the elements in his own astrological chart, but thought Earth Wind and Fire sounded better than Earth, Air, and Fire)…
Nina Simone was definitely among the most remarkable artists of the last century, a true icon of what American music is all about. Het music is Art of the finest kind. Nina was a great musical storyteller who has always used her phenomenal talent for boosting empowerment, liberation, love, and passion.
Her artistic body of works is so hypnotic, seductive, amazing, and magnificent that Nina was known as the “High Priestess of Soul”. Many listeners would lose track of space and time to get totally absorbed in her artistic work. A great example of Nina’s way of playing can be seen in this 1976 Video of her Montreux Jazz Festival Performance:
Nina Simone was born in 1933, on February 1, as Eunice Kathleen Waymon in the small town of Tryon, North Carolina. Her talent for music became evident already at an early age when she began to play the piano at age three without any training, and her parents, a preacher and a minister themselves, stimulated her to play piano in the church of her mother. Nina did not sing but displayed her remarkable talent for playing practically anything by ear,
It wasn’t long before Nina (then still Eunice) started to study classical music taught by Muriel Mazzanovich, an English woman, who lived in Tryon, and who inspired her to love the works of Chopin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Brahms, Schubert, and Beethoven. After graduating from high school, the local community raised funds to let young Eunice study at Julliard at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in Manhattan, New York City, where she studied music. Later on, Nina applied to the prestigious and world-renown Philadelphia Curtis Institute of Music in Pennsylvania.
For people across the world, the death of the legendary Dr. Nina Simone in 2003 (April 20), was met with a lot of sadness. An often-unsung hero and pioneer in the civil rights movement, Nina was a woman of conviction who left her country of birth rather than compromise her artistic integrity, a woman who challenged the status quo, but more than that, a woman who knew how to touch the hearts of so many with her distinctive musical blend of jazz, blues and soul. I was blessed to have my own first-hand experience of Nina at the tender age of sixteen when I formed the very first British fan club for her in 1965.
I remember vividly going out to the airport, flowers in hand, to meet this woman who had made such an impact on me through the albums she made in the ‘60s. Mixing Billie Holiday classics with spirituals, folk songs with African chants, old English odes with movie themes, Duke Ellington with George Gershwin, Nina was a one-of-a-kind artist whose music moved me such that I felt compelled to be involved somehow in sharing her brilliance with others. Thus, the fan club and a life full of memories of my encounters with the amazing Dr. Simone! (more…)
The most underrated quality about Donna Summer is her musical versatility. It is the strength of her artistry and the hidden key to her longevity. How many singers can attest to winning five Grammy Awards in four different musical categories? How many black singers own a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance? Indeed, Donna was the first African-American – ever – to achieve this honor at the 1980 ceremony. Only a year before, she earned her first Grammy win in the R&B category and would later receive nods for her Inspirational and Dance performances. Her nominations for this prestigious award stretch even further into the pop, disco, and jazz categories, not to mention “Album of the Year” (Bad Girls).
Donna Summer defies categorization. Though she helped ignite the feverish disco craze of the 1970’s, her talent transcends trends. During her meteoric rise to stardom in the 1970’s, she and producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte experimented with a colorful palette of soundscapes that belied the rock contingency’s popular perception about disco being faceless, monotonous dreck. On the 1977 gem I Remember Yesterday, Donna’s voice effortlessly wrapped around the quintessential sounds of the 1940’s (the title track), the 1950’s (“Love’s Unkind”), the 1960’s (the Supremes tribute “Back in Love Again”), the 1970’s (“Black Lady”), and the then-future (the pulsating, groundbreaking, “I Feel Love”). (more…)
Homeschooling has spread more in the previous few years than it has in the earlier decades. In the beginning, homeschooling or any type of non-public course of study wasn’t allowed in the 50 States. However, when a society court ruled for the Bodies of Sisters for the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and agreed to allow them to organize a separate junior high school in 1925, public schools weren’t the only academies providing intellectual acquirement to youngsters. This inspired the homeschooling long-range plan and not long after, moms resolved to give instruction to their youth in their own homes.
Check out also this video where Psychology Professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson talks about some good reasons for homeschooling but also points to the possibly huge challenges that you’ll be faced with:
Homeschooling is justifiable in all 50 states; nonetheless, each state has different stipulations and guidelines regarding the manner of homeschooling. Some states only require moms who designate that they will be homeschooling, to simply file an intent form to the local junior high school commissioner. Some insist that class programs be made and approved by the middle school board prior to the beginning of the homeschooling teaching process. All of these conditions desire to help to develop young people whether they are instructed at home sweet home or in community schools.
When I was 24 and enrolled in the Dale Carnegie Sales Course, I learned to set goals and discovered that doing so was an important key to unlocking later successes both large and small.
Virtually everyone knows that setting goals and clearly defining your income are important factors for a happier, richer and fuller life, but they don’t always know how to set goals. I recently worked with people from the website Best GED Classes to help create a process for successful goal setting for pass the GED test fast.
People who prepare for the GED test are in a difficult position as they go back to school as adults and must focus on learning test-taking strategies almost every day.
So I incorporate for them the exercise during my course. I learned In one exercise we were asked to state what we wanted to be doing in ten years, and what income we expected to earn by doing it. Please note that the question was not what we wanted to be, but what we wanted to do.
Practical Homeschooling means that you can adjust the learning program to fit your point of view. For example, many parents are concerned with the elimination of religion from public schooling altogether, such as the removal of the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance or no public praying while in school.
When you choose to homeschool your child you can bring the religion back.
While no religion is a form of religious tolerance in some cases, many parents, especially those who have grown up in religious homes, have a difficult time with this elimination of religion. One course of action is to have your child attend a religious private school; but since these can be pricey, another choice for parents is to begin homeschooling.
When you homeschool your child, you are required by law and morally obligated to teach him or her the same things as they would learn with a traditional education. However, in most cases, there are no laws saying how this must be taught. Religion can become an important part of your child’s schooling if you choose to teach it. This can include daily praying and other religious activities, as well as an incorporation of religious values into every subject.
The standards and motives for a Catholic homeschool are guided by the youth’s exercise based on the Holy Scripture, wherein the intellectual acquirement of the kids should be left in the parents’ authority.
As seen in all Christly homeschools, dads instruct the scripture, to foster their youth for favorable Christly understanding for the correct code of conduct imperative to their customary state of affairs as well as when they hit the grown-up stage of their life. This viewpoint of teaching is not found in course of study in the congregation schools.
Christlike homeschools are particular for each family. Some rightly forge their home to be a watchful replica of a “school”, definitive with textbooks, desks, flag salute, and yes, recess.
Others construct homeschooling in a different way of matters, electing not so much in adopting workbooks, required texts, and agendas. Here, both youth and dads learn through a normal state of affairs; educating, schooling and being taught as part of their habitual schedule in lieu of closely dominated classroom conditions.
There are so many approaches to the development of curriculum for homeschooling these days. This is because there is a myriad of preferences to be incorporated into a single coherent whole. Thus, there is a need to compartmentalize these different preferences. One such approach is Catholic homeschooling. Let’s take a look at the Seton Catholic Homeschooling system.
Seton is the largest provider of Catholic homeschooling materials and the largest primary/secondary Catholic school in the USA.
But what exactly is Catholic homeschooling? Simply put, it is a system of homeschooling wherein its foundation is actually the belief system of Catholics. If you would take a look at Catholic homeschooling and Christian homeschooling, you would not find much difference when it comes to the foundation of their whole system. This is because both Christian and Catholic homeschooling have religion as their very basis or core.
With Catholic homeschooling, there are actually a number of methods in the incorporation of their curriculums. Let’s take an overview look at these methods. First up is Charlotte Mason Homeschooling.