I’ve bragged many times – my wife is a music teacher! I’ve felt a strong connection to music my whole life, and as a result, I believe whole-heartedly in the value of an arts education. So, I love knowing that so many kids have the chance to develop the same love of music because of my wife. She can affect these kids in a lasting way. And thanks to the shrinking financial support available for public education and growing class sizes, she can now influence up to 54 kids every hour! I’ve enjoyed seeing her students perform since she started the music program from scratch at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School 3 years ago. Back then, her class was like the Bad News Bears. Most of them had no formal musical education. The brutal sound told me so. And they tended to misbehave. They stuck garbage in the piano. They fell off their chairs for no reason. Some of them showed an unhealthy interest in the Illuminati.
Regardless, I chaperoned the group with their first awkward caroling visit to the old folks home, where most couldn’t sing on pitch, and the male singers mostly mouthed the words with only the sound of bad breath. But, since then they have made great strides with some amazing performances, including their latest promo performance for THE VOICE (more info on this later…) I feel so moved just thinking about how proud I am of my wife’s value in these kids’ lives, but I’m not crying. I have dust in my eye. Look away!
The students sense the value as well. Sure, some of them absolutely do NOT want to be in choir, but they are forced by the school schedule. However, many more of them recognize what a fabulous and special lady my wife is. In fact, they like her so much, she needs to watch what she says. If she happens to make an offhand comment about a challenging situation, she might find that her students later have taken the matter in their own hands to "fix" the situation. They want things to go well for Mrs. Gorski! They REALLY like her.
I always joke about staying in the good graces of my wife’s therapist. After all, if the therapist doesn’t approve of something I do, she has the power to make things extremely difficult for me. But, all this time the real threat lurked in a group of rag-tag teens. I now know that I need to suck up to her students if I value my well-being. Luckily, I’ve met the kids, and they seem to like me for the most part. So, I’m probably safe – for now. I guess I better stay on good behavior at home.
Onto THE VOICE – in April I managed to watch NBC shoot a promo for THE VOICE at Jackie’s school! The high school choir she conducts sang a song with the runner up from last season – Terry McDermott. I’m so thrilled that her talents are getting recognized while helping these kids. Here’s the story from the school newspaper (it’s a journalism magnet), which includes the promo:
And, here’s a behind the scenes video of the session from Terry McDermott’s website:
And finally, if you feel so moved to support her growing program, you can donate to help her build a keyboard lab at Donor’s Choose:
So, watch THE VOICE tonight! They will run the promo during tonight’s show (May 21, 2013). It will also run on 5/28, 6/4 and 6/11. It’s really short, but look for the choir that isn’t in the classroom. The other two schools are shot in classrooms, but Jackie’s was shot in the assembly room.
Then, if you see any of her kids walking down the street, put in a good word for me, will you?