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The Big Idea Blog

 

Where Artistry & Education meet for coffee …

Join a rich conversation that explores creativity, imagination & improvisation in teaching and learning.     Come one come all: students, teachers & artists  and all those who live and work in schools.


Youthwrite: A Camp for Young Writers

Monday July 20, 2015 Youthwrite: A camp for kids who love to write … just about anything! I just spent a week at the Youthwrite Camp in Edmonton, Alberta with about 50 young writers between the ages of 11 and 14 on site. They are poets and playwrights, songwriters and graphic novelists, artists and dreamers…

Another School Year Ends …

Monday June 29, 2015 Hey! You sound just like the guy on the cd!! … —Kindergarten student, Central Public School The school year comes to a close. Pause here and listen for sounds of children’s voices in your neighbourhood—voices you haven’t heard since last summer. Stand near the school yard and listen: silence. My school…

‘True Friend’ Video

Saturday July 4, 2015 My dear friend Anna and her dear friend Mavis created this sweet little video for the song, True Friend.  Thanks yu2! (Having a friend is a beautiful thing …)

I Am a Child Video

Monday June 1, 2015 I am a child. I’ll last a while You can’t conceive of the pleasure in my smile … —Neil Young When I was preparing to record The Very Next Day, I had 9 original songs and wanted to include 1 ‘cover’ song. I had settled on the song, “To Everyone in…

Who Loves You?!? Video

Monday May 25, 2015 Who loves you?!? Your dog and your cat do. Plus a goldfish and a hamster, too. Earlier this year, I worked as artist-in-residence at Lancaster Elementary School. During the final performances and presentations, I watched an excellent video created by one of the students to accompany an excerpt from Martin Luther…

Cataraqui Woods School Song

Wednesday April 29, 2015 Cat Woods! Cat Woods! Cataraqui Woods! Our school’s got. Our school’s got. The Cataraqui Goods!   I’ve been working with the staff and students of Cataraqui Woods School over the course of the 2014-2015 school year. As a member of the Kingston Artists Roster, I’ve had the opportunity to work on…

At the Drive Thru

Sometimes I wonder why no one’s inside. There’s empty tables. There’s empty chairs. It looks clean and cozy but one one is there— Cuz everybody’s lined up at the drive thru … Been to the drive thru lately? What was YOUR experience like? One day, I was driving by a strip of fast food chains…

Long Live the Camp Counsellor

Life at summer camp is a high octane life. It’s full. It’s Full On. It’s Festive. It’s routined yet full of surprise. Structured and chaotic. Noisy and nature-full. Camp is fueled by larger-than-life characters. Young children are catapulted from their homes and from the familiar. Some children have been waiting (without knowing they’ve been waiting)…

The TedFest That Never Was!

Summer Camp changed my life. Shaped my life. Made it richer. Made it better. Summer camp made me who I am today. For that, I feel blessed and full of gratitude. In today’s vernacular, summer camp is a ‘Game-Changer.’ Summer camp changes children’s lives in myriad ways that I cannot even begin to chart without…

The Very Next Day (new album forthcoming)

Hey friends. I’m making a new record … called The Very Next Day. ‘What’s the Big Idea?!?’ is still having a great run. It garnered critical acclaim. (It was nominated for 3 music awards including a JUNO.) More important, children and their parents love the music. They’re listening to The Big Idea in their living…