A Peek at the Canvas: December

by Frank Caracciolo

The most recent episode of The Blank Canvas with Frank Caracciolo is out now. Released on December 12th, the episode features a conversation with music educator and musician Skye Stowe about starting to teach music during the pandemic, what it’s like to organize a show, and the teaching community at Verdun Elementary, amongst other topics. We have partially transcribed the episode to give you a sample of their conversation.

Frank Caracciolo: You have this week and that’s one of the reasons why I invited you on is that you have these amazing holiday concerts happening. I believe it’s this Thursday, right?

Sky Stowe: Yes, that’s right.

Frank Caracciolo: and so can you tell us a little bit about the holiday concert and how it was to put that together?

Skye Stowe is a music teacher at Verdun Elementary

Sky Stowe: Absolutely. So the theme for this year’s holiday concert is Candyland, so we have songs coming from different motion pictures like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as Narnia, and then we also have a couple songs from The Nutcracker, so the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. Basically all of our songs have something to do with some sort of hot chocolate treat or, you know, wintery kind of candy. So that’s kind of been the overarching theme for the concert which has really been a hit with the kids. They love the songs and they have really been responding well to them.

Frank Caracciolo

It’s been really, really fun, and on top of that, of course there is the decoration so slowly but surely I’ve been putting together decorations and I’ve had help from the art teacher and other teachers around the school have been coming together and so every time the students come to my classroom, there’s different decorations that are ready.
So there’s been gingerbread men, and each time they come in they get to see something different that they know is going to be a part of this scene. It’s really building a lot of excitement and really feeling kind of the buzz going through the school. As we’re getting closer to the date, it’s been really fun to see that with the kids. They’re really, really excited with this theme, and that’s one of the most important parts of putting together a concert — choosing material and program music that, first of all, is the appropriate level for the kids as well as something that they will enjoy, something that they will be excited about, because if they’re not excited about it, it’s not going to come through in the music.
If they’re excited about it, it will come through and the audience will have a better time. And I’m pretty excited about it too!

Hear the complete episode on your favourite podcast player or by clicking here.