How has this person changed your life?:
Neither my husband nor I are musical. We don't have musical family members. It has been the very great fortune of my children to begin their education at the elementary school where Bonnie Anderson serves as music teacher. Ms. Anderson works with each and every child on the campus of her school, developing appreciation for music, building skills to make music and inspiring the passion in children to make music their own. Having witnessed first hand the benefits my children have experienced, our family has become huge supporters of music education, where children hone skills such as listening, focus, the value of practicing to improve one's skills, the pleasure of succeeding at challenging things. They learn how to work together as a group to play music that is fuller and richer than any of them could produce alone, and that each member of a group has an important contribution to bring. My children have confidence to stand up in front of others and perform. They know how to recover from a misstep, find the beat and keep right on playing. These skills will benefit them in every context of their lives. Ms.Anderson has truly given my children a gift they will treasure the rest of their lives--the ability to make music, be it for themselves, for others, with others--anywhere. I wish I'd been one of Ms. Anderson's students as a child, but I am blessed to be the audience when my children share their music with me. I've come to believe that education in fine arts is every bit as critical as reading and math and the sorts of things that show up on standardized tests--perhaps even moreso, so that children understand that they are more than a number or test score. This is why I believe Bonnie Anderson deserves the Sterling Shining Star Award.