So why am I in Nashville again?  I came up to experience the national convention of the National Association for Music Education (formerly MENC).  When my daughter and I get to go to the Georgia version, held every year in Savannah in January, we always have more sessions that we want to do than we can stuff into the available hours.  The choices are fewer here, at least for me, but they are good ones, and the shopping in the exhibit hall is good, too. 

Monday I went to an excellent session on teaching children to improvise.  My stealth initiative for music in the schools is empowering Girl Scout leaders to sing with their girls, since Girl Scouts is one of the few places children in Georgia are actually encouraged to sing - even to sing folk music of many lands!  Singing for fun -- what a concept.  How different from the American Idol model that most people seem to have accepted as the norm for singing!

Anyway, as a trainer for GS I've been working on methods for non-musicians to (a) feel encouraged to sing and even dare to harmonize, (b) teach their Girl Scouts to go and do likewise, and (c) decrease humiliation as a part of the experience of music.  The Peripole session had some great ideas, and I certainly intend to check out their website for more from their presenter Cak Marshall. 

I hate to think about how many times people have told me about their experiences of trying to do music in the face of blame, humiliation, and scorn from those who could do it.  How did that ever get to be an acceptable way to act?