-New music technology class promises to give students opportunities
Last month, my friend and colleague caught me at one of my ‘not-so-great’ moments during my workday.
I oftentimes find myself consumed with the work in front of me, piled up next to me, on the screen beside me, and swirling in my head on top of me.
Time for some self-deprecation…I am not an active and engaged listener on the regular. If there is one person who reminds me of this most, other than my lovely wife Ashley, it is that friend and colleague Radford Windham.
When he walks into my office, Windham jokingly (at least that is what I tell myself), asks me to make eye contact with him while we are talking, to close my laptop screen and turn my cell phone over with the screen face down.
I said that I wasn’t an active and engaged listener. I listen to people when they come into my office; I hear every word, can respond to them, and follow-up with them as needed. But that does nothing to make the person across the desk feel any better. I promise to work on this more; I think I am improving already.
Last month, Windham said that he had something he had been working on developing and he needed my full attention. Say no more, Radford. Laptop closed, phone turned over, eye contact engaged.
The conversation went something like this:
Windham: “For generations, Dahlonega, Georgia has been a community that thrives on local music and is known across the nation for producing musical talent. Our school system currently offers students different opportunities in fine arts, CTAE, and STEAM but we are missing an opportunity to bridge those three areas in cross-curricular pathway offerings. It is my hope and desire that the Lumpkin County School System will fill this void by offering students the opportunity to enroll in the state-funded music technology courses. With my training, my expertise, and my connections, I want to produce musical talent and help create jobs for students searching for their chosen career. I will bring reality into the classroom through teaching musical skills that will last a lifetime, incorporating music into today’s technology and providing a unique opportunity for students to immediately start making an income.”
Lemley: “Tell me what I can do for you to help make this happen!”
After listening to his proposal, providing some basic feedback and suggestions for moving forward, I was completely sold on his idea. Over the next couple weeks, with a formal proposal in hand, meetings scheduled and completed, and a high school elective fair scheduled, Windham unveiled a new pathway and new courses for Lumpkin County High School.
Windham’s enthusiasm and his love for this opportunity is contagious. I watched him at two elective fairs as he pitched these courses to rising and current high schoolers and watched those students sign up for one of the three courses Windham is proposing for next year.
Check out future editions of this School News column to hear and see how this new pathway and these new courses are changing lives in Lumpkin County.