In this issue, I share a song written to honor ten retiring teachers and staff representing a combined 305 years of service to The Park School. Please join me in my kitchen for “The Gift of a Heart”.
Photo: © 2016 Dan Tapppan
Last month was the 9th anniversary of my humble blog, “The Kitchen Musician”. I started this project as a way to inspire me to keep writing. Looking at my song list, I see seventy songs (plus or minus) written since 2007. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me on this artistic journey.
This Month’s Music
The Gift of a Heart
The Gift of a Heart
© 2016 Tom Smith (ASCAP)
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This African proverb is a favorite of mine. I have worked most of my career managing technology systems and helping organizations match those systems to their mission and goals. Occasionally, I have been encouraged to push forward even if it meant leaving some people behind or eliminating what was described as “unimportant traditions”. I have always found this proverb to be a useful way to frame my approach as we balanced the urgent need to “go quickly” with the ultimate goal to “go far”.
My retiring colleagues from The Park School. Photo: Kate LaPine
I have been extremely fortunate that for thirty three years I have shared my professional life with many extremely talented teachers, administrators and staff at The Park School. Longevity has been the norm at Park with teachers often spending their entire careers at the school. This month I joined nine others retiring after a combined 305 years of service. To add even greater meaning to the event, one of these is my wife Margo who completes her amazing and highly successful forty four year career at Park! She and all of these folks have had an unmeasurable positive impact on the lives of thousands of students and many colleagues. Together, we have certainly gone far.
Margo and I are not completely severing ties with Park School. We both will consult on special projects, Margo with diversity education and curriculum design and I with technology. In addition, we will continue the great joy of being grandparents of two Park School students. Other than that, we both are looking forward to throwing ourselves into many non-Park projects – but only those that are consistent with our goal to slow our busy lives down a little.
I am reminded of a lyric to a song I wrote in 2011,
I worked to share the joys as the sail climbed up the mast
As I pulled the sheet with those who bound their passion to the task
That’s why sailors long for sea when work is done
That’s one more sail around the sun.
May you be blessed with work you love and people to work with who share that love.
(If so inclined, I invite you to leave a comment by scrolling to the end of this page.)
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm, Concord, MA
The Chanticleers joyfully return to the Old Manse in historic Concord, MA. Kate Chadbourne, Pat Kenneally, Robert Phillipps, Linda Abrams and I perform traditional Irish/English/American and original music with guitar, harp, flute, banjo, boudhran, harmonica, and other instruments. Weather permitting.
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2016 at 7:30 pm, Tiverton, RI
Chuck Williams hosts four songwriters from the Rhode Island Songwriters Association community. I am pumped to share the evening with Grant Malloy Smith and two other songwriters TBA.
Click to view details for all upcoming shows.
Featured Non-profit: The Steppingstone Foundation
Founded in 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs that prepare underserved students for educational opportunities that lead to college success. Since its founding, they have set 1,805 underserved students on the path to college. I am proud that The Park School has been a partner school since the beginning, and I have been a witness to the successful matriculation of many Steppingstone students.
Please join me in supporting The Steppingstone Foundation.