Friday, 23 August 2013

Connecting with Students through Summer Stories!

My husband and I just returned from an amazing trip to Europe! We spent three weeks visiting friends, family and new places. I thought I would connect vacay to school stuff in this post!

For me, making meaningful connections with my students is the most important element as an effective and engaging educator. Listening to stories and sharing my own stories and experiences helps my students see me as a real person. These moments really build on the essential relationships with my students. 

I have made a vacation highlight list to share with my students as well as some photos from my trip! I have included musical and personal connections for each of the cities. I will expand on the musical information when I discuss with my students. 

Prague is on of my favourite cities! My favourite place is the Charles Bridge with all of the buskers, artists, vendors and the beautiful Vlatava River that flows through Prague's centre.
Czech composer Antonin Dvorak lived in Prague for much of his life! 

Berlin is a city rich with culture and history. We ate dinner at the revolving restaurant at the top of Berlin TV Tower on our first night. I also had the amazing opportunity to watch the German Musical "Hinter dem Horizont", a profound love story set during the East/West Germany era. 
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach spent 30 years in Berlin! He worked as a member of the Royal Orchestra at the time and also composed much music for orchestra and piano. 

2 pics just because it's my fav!
 (Dresden Semper Operahouse)

I lived close to Dresden for a year on a student exchange ten years ago. Dresden is officially my favourite city in the world! Not a lot of tourists, a beautiful old city and an unbelievable history. Love, love, love this city.
Many composers spent time working here including Wagner, both Clara and Robert Schumann, Strauss, and Rachmaninoff. 

Incredible landscape and history here, near Dresden. Breathtaking views. We spent time at the National Park, Rathen. Lovely!
Wagner lived in Leipzig and Dresden, but also spent time in the Saxon Switzerland region, gaining inspiration from the beautiful area for his compositions.

We took in many sights in Paris. It was a jam packed two and a half days! Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, La Seine, Champs-Elysee, L'Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame, and the Catacombs!
I am sure there are many, but I thought it was pretty funny that I had the song "Champs Elysee" in my head from the moment we arrived until the day we left!

What stories do you plan to share with your students? How do you make personal connections with them?

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