Free Music Tutoring Coming This Fall At Madrona K-8

Molly SwensonResearch continues to show that kids who play instruments and know how to read music do better academically, but for many kids, buying an instrument and paying for expensive private music lessons simply aren’t options. But this fall Madrona K-8 and Seattle Music Partners are teaming up to offer free after school music tutoring to 4th and 5th graders. Seattle Music Partners pairs kids from Central Area elementary schools with tutors who range from high school students to professional musicians, and also provide free loaner instruments when needed. Students from Madrona K-8 often go on to attend Garfield High School, which has a nationally renowned music program, so music education at Madrona is geared toward preparing students for a potential continuation of their music studies there.

But the school and its new full-time music teacher Stephan Childers need your help to ensure they have enough instruments and supplies to extend the program’s benefits to all students who want to participate. They have set up a fundraising page on SwopBoard, which accepts cash donations as well as allowing people to list items for sale with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the fundraising effort. Funds raised will be used to buy recorders, sheet music, headphones, mp3 downloads, and instruments. Also, if you have an instrument that is collecting dust and you’d like to donate it, you may drop it off at the school anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. They are accepting flutes, alto saxophones, trombones, trumpets, bass clarinets, tubas, euphoniums, and French horns. So, visit the fundraising site, help Madrona fill up its instrument closet and get ready for a music-filled fall!

 

 

“The Comedy Of Errors” At Madrona Playfield This Saturday

bard

The GreenStage theater company is bringing its Backyard Bard series to Madrona Playfield this Saturday with its rendition of Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors.’ While GreenStage produces full-length plays through its Shakespeare in the Park series, the Backyard Bard productions are Shakespeare classics pared down to 45 minutes and feature just four actors.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Shakespeare, or with theater in general, this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet and enjoy the theater in your own neighborhood. Pack your blanket, your picnic basket, and your imagination, and let the actors transport you to the ancient Grecian city of Ephesus, where ‘The Comedy’ is set.

GreenStage, now in its 26th season of performing Shakespeare, aims to bring high-quality theater to the public for free, using public parks as their backdrops. After this season, they will have earned the rare distinction of having performed every play in Shakespeare’s catalog. This Saturday’s show begins at 7:00 p.m. at the playfield (34th and Spring) and is free, though GreenStage is grateful for any donations.

If you are interested in other Shakespeare in the Park productions, visit GreenStage’s website for a full schedule!

 

Madrona Business Spotlight: Switchback Travel

switchbackSwitchback Travel occupies a quiet corner on 34th Avenue and Pike Street in Madrona, but visit the travel company’s website and find yourself among fjords in Norway, glacier-blue lakes in Patagonia, and looking out over jaw-dropping vistas from the peaks of the North Cascades in our own backyard. An underlying theme of adventure threads throughout Switchback’s catalogue of detailed travel guides, focusing on where to hike, ski, climb and more in locations as varied as the well-tracked American West to Tierra del Fuego in the southernmost reaches of Argentina. Not only that, but the site’s extensive selection of product and gear reviews ensure you’ll know which tents will keep you dry, which shoes will hold up on your trek, and which camera to capture it all with.

Switchback founder David Wilkinson set out to create an online destination for travel guides that don’t follow the traditional guidebook formula, and prioritizes quality and length of content over quantity. “We aim for articles that are longer than the norm, have writing that is more polished, and are written by people that truly are experts in the field. Instead of publishing articles as fast as we can, we try to make sure they are written and designed the right way,” Wilkinson wrote in an e-mail. For example, readers can follow contributor and accomplished climber Chris Kalman up and down the peaks of the Andes in the Cochamó Valley in Chile through his three-part journal, or read about photographer Cody Duncan’s personal journey to the Lofoten Islands in Norway.

The site is easy to navigate and every page brings one stunning photograph after another, which was part of Switchback’s design strategy. Wilkinson says, “I was always someone who grabbed a travel guidebook and went straight for the photographs in the middle, so photography and good user experience both were big priorities.” There is also only one ad per page, which is a refreshing departure from travel sites running endless ads for car rentals and hotels.

Although the site, which was founded in 2011, now has a global reach (a third of its readers are in Europe), Wilkinson says he is enjoying the office’s tucked away location in Madrona. The neighborhood was the first place he visited in Seattle, and he says “There is a lot more in terms of business here than most people realize, with start-ups, design studios, small businesses, etc. Madrona is a vibrant community and I’m happy to be a part of it.” So, give the Switchback crew a wave when you’re in the neighborhood, and visit the site for endless travel inspiration!