Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Thursday, May 16, 2013
According to a new poll released by TIME, Microsoft and the Motion Picture Association of America, no other trait is more admired by Americans than creativity.
More than intelligence, compassion, humor, ambition and beauty, Americans ranked creativity #1 among these traits. And then there’s this: “62% say creativity is more important to success in the workplace than they anticipated it would be when they were in school.” Clearly, we have to rethink the importance of creativity in our schools so that our students can be successful and happy in life.
After all, we all know that life is tough and getting tougher; we all know that our country is being challenged from within the government and on Main Street. And that’s where creativity (also called “ingenuity”) has served America so well in the past.
According to the same poll, only 35% view the U.S. as the current leader in creativity. But here’s the kicker: “for those saying the U.S. is not a leader…31% (say that) schools are not building creativity…” Simply put, we’re losing our edge because we don’t value students’ ability to think creatively. The good news, though, is that creativity can be taught and immediately applied by children hungry to use their imaginations and their skills – if we give them the opportunity!
If you have read this far, you are probably interested in making a difference in your students’ creative lives. May we suggest: “Creating a New Hit Song”. This program is a hands-on residency of variable length where students learn how to take facts, opinions and feelings and create an original song. In so doing, we demonstrate how discipline, form and ability meet with the creative impulse to make something meaningful or beautiful. Of course, this is central to not only the state’s COMMON CORE CURRICULUM but to the goals of educators, business leaders, child development advocates and parents.
As important, when we come to a school for an in-the-classroom residency, we provide your teachers with tools that they can incorporate into their skill set. This is especially true when we work with the same teachers over a period of years.
Speaking of statistics, our experience is that test scores go up when we are part of a school’s approach to education. For three years, we worked in a school in Freeport, NY during which time the students’ scores improved dramatically. While we cannot take full credit for that improvement, the principal has cited our work as being an integral part of their approach to the whole child.
Lastly, it should be said that creativity is fun. It makes us happy to feel connected to our own ideas and to share them with others. So, contact us and learn how we can stimulate your school’s creative potential, have lots of fun and…just maybe…be the start of something that will change your student’s lives forever.
Beth & Scott Bierko (800) 364-5381 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 26, 2011
1. Identify and cut those expenses that are “leaky holes”, things like magazine or movie subscriptions or even the health club if you don’t use it.
2. Don’t dine or snack out. Bag your lunch and if you must snack, pack drinks and munchies in your bag or car.
3. Avoid impulse purchases. Anything that costs over $100 should be put off for 1-2 weeks to determine if you REALLY need it.
4. Don’t upgrade anything electronic to the latest and greatest unless it’s necessary.
5. Spend less on gifts at the stores and more time making cards, writing poems or songs and expressing your feelings without spending money on your loved ones.
6. When you go to the grocery store or any store for that matter, buy what’s on your list and then LEAVE.
7. Use the library instead of buying books online or for your e-reader. Trade books with friends and family, too!
8. Buy used stuff, especially cars.
9. Drive less. Consolidate your trips. Drive slower to save gas. Better yet, take a bike, a walk or just stay put.
10. Get re-interested in learning, in enjoying what you already have and hanging out with your family. Play games, be creative, keep up with friends or write in a journal. The more time we spend not spending is money saved and a life well-lived.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Here's a song we recorded today to express our gratitude and love for one another, our family, friends and the values we share.
May your holiday be full of great conversations, laughter, tasty food and lots of hugs!
Beth and Scott
"I Am Thankful"
Words and Music by Scott Bierko
©2011 Bierko Productions
Our Family. It’s not easy being a great mom and dad to two teenage girls. In fact, we make lots of mistakes and kick ourselves almost daily for not being perfect parents. That said, we are thankful because we have great kids who are compassionate, funny and beautiful. What a blessing to witness their transformation from helpless little babies into responsible adolescents and young adults ready to take their turn getting things “right”.
Our Business. Like most Americans (many others around the world), we are struggling harder and making less. Instead of the incremental progress and accumulation of assets our parent’s generation enjoyed during their 40’s and 50’s, we are finding it a struggle just to survive in this economy. Despite this downturn, we feel lucky to have many, many loyal and wonderful clients who share our love of music and children. We are so fortunate to have a job, especially one that allows us to work together, have fun and make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.
Our Country. The U.S.A. is going through a crisis brought on by years of unsustainable growth, a certain measure of greed and a lack of compassion for each other and our environment. Our hope is that our leaders and our fellow citizens will make the smart, difficult choices necessary to promote long term prosperity for our children’s generation.
Nature. As we look around, there is so much wonder and beauty in our natural world. We are lucky to make our home in the woods where wild turkeys and deer parade past our window and squirrels, chipmunks, woodpeckers, spiders, skunks and swans share the trees, the reservoirs and the clean air with us two-legged folks.
Needs and Wants. A comfortable couch, a warm furnace, a roof that doesn’t leak and two old cars that still run are all blessings that come to us courtesy of the people who made and sold them. As musicians, we’re fortunate to have drums to bang, guitars and ukes to strum and microphones so that audiences can hear us. How lucky we are to have shoes, socks, pants, shirts, sweaters and coats.
You. Maybe we’ve met, maybe you’ve heard our songs or maybe you’re being introduced to us for the first time. We’re glad you’re here, a fellow traveler in this wacky, wonderful world. May you be blessed with abundance, love and gratitude.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"First, we gather together," says Scott Bierko. "children, parents and teachers, creating a real sense of community. Second, we provide the audience with a super-fun show with important educational content, multiple styles of music, a brightly colored set and lots of on-stage participation by the kids and the adults. Lastly, we mix in a sense of warmth and just enough love to leave the audience smiling."
Beth & Scott and Friends teach kids that we may be different on the outside, but inside we're all very much the same.
"Like Scott says in the show," remarks Beth Bierko, "We gather to give light to the darkest time of the year, by sharing food, exchanging presents and giving thanks for all that we have. Mostly, we travel great distances to be with the people we love - family and old friends. I think of that word, "community" and see it's about how we come together throughout the world to create a oneness that's at the heart of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas".
Happy Holidays Around the World brings together songs that everyone can dance and sing to, humor that tickles even the most serious of teachers and a sense of connection that makes for lifelong memories. As one principal recently said, "You are a tradition at our school. If I ever thought of not booking you - the teachers would get rid of me!"
Find out why so many schools ring in the holidays with Beth & Scott and Friends' show, Happy Holidays Around the World. It might be the best present you can give your kids this year.