Crane Country Day School Established 1928

Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

Music is My Muse
Donna Brown

I can’t remember when I began singing, but I remember harmonizing with every song that bounced along the radio waves and into my young life. My family had this huge TV/radio/turntable console in our living room. I remember carefully unveiling a black vinyl from its cardboard casing, listening to the crackle of the needle, while eagerly anticipating the opening guitar riff of “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers.

I can’t remember when I began singing, but I remember harmonizing with every song that bounced along the radio waves and into my young life. My family had this huge TV/radio/turntable console in our living room. I remember carefully unveiling a black vinyl from its cardboard casing, listening to the crackle of the needle, while eagerly anticipating the opening guitar riff of “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers. 
 
My older brother picked up the guitar when I was about nine years old. I was enthralled by the music that filled our house from that day on--classic rock riffs, blues and jazz chords, and some bluegrass licks. I was especially smitten by the jazz chords which made their way into many of my songs. It was 1973 when I was given my first guitar as a birthday present. It was an inexpensive acoustic guitar purchased at Western Auto, but I was thrilled to have it. Little did my parents know that I would play that guitar every day. As soon as I figured out a few chords, I began to write songs. There was something so magical about songwriting. Nothing in my young life had a more profound effect on me. I could easily get lost in the music for hours at a time. Music transported me, shaped me, opened my mind, and deepened my ability to reflect.
 
Interestingly, if you Google “music and the brain” you will find a plethora of articles on the topic. While none of the research studies are conclusive, it appears that playing music is good for us--especially for young children. It may strengthen the connections between the two hemispheres of the brain, improve executive brain function, strengthen speech processing, magnify memory, promote empathy, slow brain aging, foster math and science ability, improve motor skills, elevate mental health, and sharpen self-esteem. 
 
Even if every one of these claims were true, the most compelling reason for creating music (in my opinion) is the pure joy and satisfaction that music delivers. Students have so many opportunities to experience and create music here at Crane. Never underestimate the power of music to inspire, transform, and challenge us. Let music be your muse!
 
Donna Brown
Third Grade Teacher

Most Recent Posts

 Focus on Learning-Logos Pathos Ethos

Crane's seventh grade English students found out that the simple question, "What is your favorite sandwich?" isn't actually as simple as they had originally believed. Little did they know that this question would lead them to the theory of persuasion and the study of Aristotle's three modes - logos, ethos, and pathos.

As English teacher Mrs. Lombardi shared with seventh grade parents, "Understanding how to persuade others and also how one is persuaded by others are both important tools to have in one's kit"...

Its just middle school photo

This image is prominently displayed on our seventh grade dean’s website. It’s a bit of comic relief to combat the bad rap that the middle school years get. And it is a perfect example of one of the goals of the new Grade Level Dean program in the Upper School (sixth-eighth grades) at Crane School - to add an element of fun to the social lives of middle school students.

The Grade Level Dean program focuses on the social aspect of the middle school experience at Crane. As a school we are constantly assessing what changes we can make...

Focus on Learning Gratitude

While gratitude may be a buzzword, especially in the month of November, we believe it is much more than a popular hashtag (#grateful) or a fleeting trend. Gratitude is a powerful tool that has proven to positively affect individuals and communities.

In an article titled, What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important? from positivepsychology.com, Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc states, “Effectively gratitude can create social networks and help individuals work towards goals and challenges, and overall, simply have stronger coping skills for life’s hardships.”

At Crane it has been inspiring and heart-warming to see students of all ages learning the independent practice of gratitude...

Blog Image: How was your day?

In the past seven months, most parents have been more involved in their children’s academic lives than ever before. We know what sight words they have been working on, what the all-school art project is, and who presented in the Friday assembly video.

However, as Crane School students in all nine grades now have the option to learn on campus, the majority of parents are once again receiving less information about the day-to-day activities both in the classroom and on the playground.

We have all asked the question and gotten the dreaded answer. You know the one. Parents enthusiastically ask, “How was your day!?!” The response is an annoyed or indifferent, “Fine,” “Okay,” or possibly just an undecipherable grunt...