Sound In Focus

Feb 19, 2015

We have a listening problem. One music teacher is out to conquer it.

Mike Alberici is a music teacher at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, who was awarded the 2015/2016 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – an award that grants teachers leave to develop new ideas for classroom teaching, and covers all the costs of doing so.


After being among more than 7,000 teachers nationwide nominated for a music educator Grammy earlier this year, Jared Cassedy, director of fine arts for the Windham School District, is now one of 10 finalists for the award.

This is the second year the Grammys has handed out that award, which is meant to honor music teachers who’ve made an impact on students’ lives.

Cassedy spoke with Rick Ganley on Morning Edition.

What’s your reaction to being one of the ten finalists for this honor? Were you surprised?

John Cooper via Flickr Creative Commons

High tech can sometimes mean hand stitching. We discuss the production of World Cup soccer balls in Siaklot, Pakistan with Atlantic assistant editor, Joe Pinsker. Next, a conversation about the intricacies of teaching high school English with writer and teacher Nick Ripatrazone. Then, Dr. Jordan Ellenberg takes us through the most unread books of summer using his formula, the Hawking Index. And, we talk to "Joyland" author Emily Schultz about the strange events that followed the release Steven King's book of the same title. Plus, a look into the history of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Viewminder via flickr Creative Commons

Education policy in the U.S. is currently laser-focused on engaging students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math—or “STEM” subjects. The goal is to prepare future generations to prosper in the new global economy. But where do the creative arts fit into this equation? How can art and music education help drive innovation? Eric Booth is a pioneer in art education, and is the author of several books, including, “The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible.” He is also an artist, an actor, and musician and is widely referred to as the father of the teaching artist profession.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

In New Hampshire, a statewide task force on effective teaching is publishing new guidelines to improve the quality of teaching.  One issue that’s getting a closer look is teacher mentoring programs.  In Nashua, one mentoring program works to groom better teachers and keep them in the classroom for years to come.

Most people agree that good teachers help students succeed.
But how do good teachers learn to be effective?

One D.C.-based, private nonprofit is asking just that. They want colleges to participate in a study that ranks teacher preparation programs.