Find Out Why You Need to Vote to 'Hear the Music'!
Gary Van Voorhis - Mr. V to his students- is a teacher on a mission. The veteran educator is a Newburgh district prize. His classroom technique is the stuff of legend and his lessons often cling to students long after they graduate from his course. He brings a sparkle to his classroom and commonly exemplifies the fine art of saying less and doing more. His students credit him with things like 'divine education intervention',' spontaneous learning' and even an unexplainable desire to show-up for class. The recipe for success here was a blighted journey for a musician on tour with his band in the late 70’s. “The Go”, as they were called are self-described as a transfer of raw idealism through Neolithic rock and new-wave with pop-tendencies. This real-life experience would be a key component to Mr. V’s success in the classroom.
The once starving-musician moonlights now as a bold dreamer in pursuit of a new venture called "Hear the Music Foundation". The project aims to be a perfect combination of that winning approach to learning infused with head-on exposure to real life. It is angled toward professionals and targets students interested in the performing arts. The foundation is up for a serious win ( a spectacular $50,000 Grant) through Pepsi's Refresh Project. That generous dollar amount will be a game changer for "Hear the Music".
I was always looking to find a way to mix my musical and real world experience with teaching. Little by little I’d slip it into the lesson plan. As I became more comfortable and confident as a teacher I began to look for ways to bring in professionals to the classroom. That’s when I got the idea for "Hear The Music".
Almost ten years in assembly, the project is gaining momentum now – the original “Can You Hear The Music” Video is circulating and the foundation web-site is a basic look into the purpose of the program. Mr V explains:
I’ve always believed music is the one true language that can bring people together. I saw it as a writer, I saw it as a teacher. It didn’t matter who the students were, there was almost always an instant bonding so I thought, ‘That’s the answer!’.
Bringing students together with industry professionals is an eye-opening way to channel young ambition. The project is a life-changing experience that doubles as a giving-back moment for the professional musicians and technicians that come face to face with this next wave of talent. The project-based program holds casting calls and auditions for it’s 4-5 performances yearly. There is even talk about developing an after-school program. Kids can get involved in several ways, but the key is that they are always paired up – professionals with students. Ultimately, the goal is to watch the magic that unfolds when those two worlds collide!
Kids have this dream of doing something in the music business but, they don’t get that opportunity. We want them to really see if this is what they want to do before they line up for expensive colleges or maybe decide school’s not for them. We can give them a reason to want to stay.
Mr. V has friends in high-profile places. Some of the personalities in his corner are Senator Larkin; NFA Principal, Peter Copoletti and Superintendent, Dr. Nick Johns. They all agree that the nature of the project is uplifting and creates a niche for students who may be looking to expand their talents and horizons. If the history of the project is any indication, they’re really onto something. Original faces Lexi Lawson, Francine Saltares and Loren Latham have all gone on to musically rich careers. Each of them returned recently to attest to the impact the project had on them calling it uplifting, inspirational and a way to stay out of trouble. If you have ever been inspired by a classroom teacher, wanted to live out your Glee-like fantasies or care to see High School dreams come true PLEASE VOTE! The competition on this is fierce and the grant money will go a long, long, long and winding way for the students, the professionals and the educators who are working night and day for this!
Vote everyday by texting to 73774 and voting 107566 or Vote everyday at Pepsi's Refresh Project
This Treasured Educator Needs your Vote To Realize his Dream ~ So they can realize theirs