A Question or a Lesson

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 75 – 18th August 2009

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome.

PD Updates

Tuesday 20th October 2009 – Millfield Prep School – Edgarley Hall, Glastonbury Somerset, UK. Registration details to follow.

Please forward this newsletter to anyone in the UK that you think may be interested in attending.

Massive Discounts on Move to Learn books! August Only!

August is the final month for this offer.  Prices revert to full retail after 31st August 2009.

Help Your Child to Learn – $29.95 NOW ONLY $9.95 plus postage – SAVE $20!

Help Your Class to Learn – $29.95 NOW ONLY $9.95 plus postage – SAVE $20!

Why & How to Get Started – $5.00 FREE with any book purchase.

For further information on these titles, go to my website at www.kidzfizbiz.com or contact me on 0410 642 781 or at info@kidzfizbiz.com to purchase.

Employment Opportunity – Be your own boss!

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run their own business as Kidz-Fiz-Biz operators. Good retruns and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at info@kidzfizbiz.com or phone 0410 642 781.

A Question or a Lesson

I came across this article in Wayne Mansfield’s Spiritmail Newsletter of  14 August 2009.  It was a timely reminder because I had had it sitting in my files waiting to send to you at some stage.

A man sat at a Metro station in Washington, D.C. and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time.

This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.

When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theatre in Boston and the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour. Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

This article reminded me of the Children’s book, “The Paperbag Princess” by Robert Munsch. In this story the Princess Elizabeth has her castle and all of her beautiful clothes, including those she is wearing, destroyed by the dragon who also carries off her fiance Ronald. The courageous and passionate Elizabeth tricks the dragon and rescues Ronald who does not appreciate her efforts.  All he sees is her dishevelled appearance and that she is wearing a paper bag. She realises that Ronald, for all his beautiful clothes and princely appearance, is just a toad.  The don’t get married after all, and she skips off happily into the sunset.

Quotes of the Week

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.
~ Angela Monet

In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.
~ Author Unknown

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
~ Trina Panormo


To hear Joshua Bell playing in the L’Enfant Plaza Station, Washington underground, click here.

To hear the famous Nora playing, click here.


Some comments from the recent PD  in Nedlands, Perth

I really liked the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It was all very useful and I would have liked more time – there were so many activities. I really enjoyed it!

Very inspiring with many great ideas for the classroom.

It was such a worthwhile presentation for a non-music specialist.

It was full of lots of useful ideas.  I especially loved the movement activities, the scarves and tapping sticks.

It was a great workshop full of interesting ideas for both kindergarten and French lessons.

I learnt how to have fun in different ways. It was well worth going.

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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