success

Developing the approach: MMI’s in-school strategy

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A conversation with MMI Executive Director Darren Isom Talk about the development of the in-school strategy. The in-school program strategy plays a critical role in the success of MMI’s larger youth and community impact strategy.  Key to the success of our work is engaging students in all facets of their lives. And schools, important in […]

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Power

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 by Anasa Troutman Last summer, I made public a dream that I had held close to my heart for over 10 years. In a vintage theater on Martha’s Vineyard with no air conditioning, in front of a modest audience of 100 people, I shared my vision of building Shelectricity, a space where black and brown […]

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Leadership is a gift

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  by Kwayera Archer Cunningham  Leadership is a gift to be handled with care, as if a fine piece of porcelain. I have received many awards, acknowledgments, and praise for my leadership, but even more notable than the accolades was the permission of those who allowed me to lead and represent them. Understanding that leadership […]

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Leading with love in schools

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by Allison R. Brown He was 14 years old when the school resource officer hit him so hard in the face, he knocked his front tooth out. This happened at school. It is unclear what the student’s transgression, or supposed transgression, was. I posit that it does not matter. When children go to school, they […]

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Getting teachers and principals to the “Room Where it Happens”

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  by Morgan Beckford When I first returned to Memphis after teaching in Virginia, I worked for Opera Memphis as the Coordinator for Education and Outreach. My charge was simple: find opportunities for local students to engage with Opera Memphis. I accepted the challenge; over the first month, I drafted an email list that included […]

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In the classroom: the alternate path

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  by Rufus Smith I had recently discovered hip hop, and one Sunday I watched a friend write a rap in church. During the sermon, he would pen random rhyming couplets that he would come up with on the spot. I was fascinated. One day, I decided to give it a shot during class in […]

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The real work of collaboration

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by Doug Waddill Ever since the dawn of the motivational poster, we have been inundated with clichés about how working together will make us stronger.  I know right now you are picturing the rowboat on the water with the bold letter caption underneath reading “TEAM — Together Everyone Achieves More,” the framed quote of “Teamwork […]

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No sound barriers

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by Afa S. Dworkin At this critically important time in our nation’s history, equity and inclusion are ever more relevant to our greater society and our beloved field. When words fall short, music and the arts have the capacity to transcend the barriers of culture, race and beliefs, to inspire empathy and the will to […]

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In the classroom: discovering your voice

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by Marcus King My name is Marcus King. This is my first year with Memphis Music Initiative and I highlight this as one the best years I’ve spent as a teacher. This is due to the wonderful students I get to teach and mentor at Cordova High School and Southwind High School in Memphis. The […]

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The Spark

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by Jeff Kollath “You can’t start a fire without a spark…” – Bruce Springsteen I began my career at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music on June 8, 2015; I met staff from the Memphis Music Initiative on June 22, 2015. Needless to say, MMI has been there all along for the museum and […]

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