2017 November

Passion Pulse Vol 1 Issue 5

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Gearing up for INVINCIBLE!
Tickets are going quickly for our Winter Showcase featuring Invincible, coming up in just one month! Trust us when we say you want to be a part of this event. Invincible will tell an important story and will touch on important themes like bullying, friendship, identity, strength, courage and hope. It will also help kick off the official launch of Passion Arts Foundation. We’re asking for your help in finding sponsorships for the show’s expenses so that 100% of the proceeds can go towards Passion Arts Foundation, providing scholarships for students whose lives could be impacted by the arts but can’t afford it. It is a great way to give back, but also to see a great show that we know will make an impact on your own life. Help us find sponsorships, buy your tickets and help make Invincible incredible! Invincible is playing December 17, 2017 at 4:00PM at Godwin High School. See you there!

Proceeds for Invincible benefit Passion Arts Foundation, the Bridging RVA 150 Beds for 150 Kids campaign and the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.

RSVP TICKETS  PURCHASE TICKETS  SUPPORT THE EVENT  SUPPORT BRIDGING RVA  DOWNLOAD EVENT POSTER

 

In addition to Invincible, on December 9, 2017 at 2:00PM at Stony Point Church, we will ALSO be having a live music showcase featuring all of our music students. All the details as well as registration can be found here. This is a great opportunity for family and friends to come see how your student is progressing, and undoubtedly to hear a few versions of your favorite Christmas songs. But be sure to register and be sure you’ve had a conversation with your student’s mentor so you know what your child is playing or singing and how to help them prepare.

REGISTER HERE

 
Holiday Closures
As you probably guessed, both of our Passion locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. But please take note that we ARE running normal lessons and classes the rest of that week, including Black Friday and the weekend of November 25-26, 2017. Please email status@passionacademy.net with any scheduling needs or requests, keeping in mind that the more continuity for your student the better, and that make-up lessons are always the way to go over canceling a lesson entirely.

 

Gratitude in an Age of Fear

Have you ever stopped to think about all the things you’re afraid of? Don’t make a list, it will scare you. But there really are a lot of things that keep us up at night and stressed out during the day, especially these days! We almost think, “how can we not be afraid?” Enter Thanksgiving, a time of good food, family, fun…and hopefully gratitude. But even though we know we should live in a state of gratitude, even though we are constantly reminded about it, even in our age of fear and especially at this time of year, it still can seem incredibly hard to do. So maybe we should start small.

The other day my family and I were at Short Pump Shopping Center. We came to ride the train, we stayed for Christmas. It was nap time for our 3-month old, but for our 3-year old it truly was the most wonderful time of the year! After we crossed the parking lot I found myself chasing my daughter through a shady corridor of shops, and then she saw it…”EEEEEEK!! Daddy, it’s SOOOO BIG!!” Is there any sound sweeter to a parent’s ear than the sound of pure delight, of unencumbered joy? The tree really was big, but can you imagine how it looks to a 3-year old?! We rode the train, played on the playground, threw coins in the fountain, made a quick, first time exploratory stop at Santa’s place. But, as we headed back to the car I knew that the highlight of the day was the moment she first saw the colossal Christmas tree.

See for a child, his or her gratitude, their sense of wonder and joy is infinitely bigger than their fears. And inside all of us is a child’s voice, calling us to be excited, to be expectant as if every morning is Christmas, to serve and to love and to share as if everything we give away will indeed come back to us and then some, to live gratefully by living joyfully, to live in wonder and in hope. You might say it’s God living right in the center of us, constantly calling us to come aside and take a look at the awe-inspiring tree we call living and to be overwhelmingly grateful that it’s been set up for us to take in, to inspire us and challenge us to live every day to approach every situation as if we don’t have a care in the world!

A big, grateful and peace-filled Thanksgiving wish from our Passion family to yours. Thank you for sharing your children with us, they help change our perspective every day!



Practicing with Your Children

As the holidays rush upon us, and speaking of your kids and our students, we’d like to encourage you to take advantage of both their time off, and hopefully some well deserved time off for you, by sitting down and practicing with your child. Not only is it a great opportunity for you to spend what might be some much needed quality time with your kids, but studies have actually shown that the more parents are involved with their child’s practicing, lessons and homework, the more likely that child will not only enjoy a closer relationship with you, but that they will experience more success and satisfaction with their craft.

In fact, the Australian Journal of Music Education, during a 2011 study looking at parent involvement regarding both practicing and lessons, they found that…

– The majority of students welcomed their parents being at their lessons.
– The majority of parents enjoyed helping their children practice.
– Contrary to popular belief, there was no significant difference between a parent’s’ own musical prowess or knowledge and their child’s success. What made the difference was simply the parents’ involvement.
– The largest factor contributing to student success was the level of student effort put into learning. Therefore, parent involvement was more effective and more necessary for younger children, the younger the child the more direct parent involvement needed.

So between the turkey and the pumpkin pie this year, be sure to take some time to show everyone that, not only is your child progressing, but that you are progressing as a parent, perfecting that delicate balance between time with your kids and the rest of life’s demands. Remember that it really is true what they say, you don’t get these days back, so make the most of them while they’re here.

Music helping Bealeton woman beat depression

Posted by | Announcements, Music Education | No Comments

By Cassandra Brown
Staff Journalist at Faquier Now

After 10 years of chronic depression, the Bealeton resident has found renewed hope through music and faith.

Virginia Ventura travels 90 minutes each week from her home to Richmond to pursue her dream of playing music.

A paraplegic since age 6 because of Transverse Myelitis, Ms. Ventura has suffered from severe depression since middle school.

Transverse Myelitis “was pretty much an overnight thing,” said Ms. Ventura, 25. “I went to sleep and I woke up and couldn’t move my legs.

“I remember my parents crying all the time when this happened. You don’t get it when you’re 6, and you don’t think this is going to change your life,” she said. “I guess it wasn’t until my teenage years when it affected me more.”

Before her depression, Ms. Ventura played viola for two years in school and took piano lessons.

“When I picked up an instrument, it felt natural to me,” she said. “It’s something that never left my mind. I remember how proud and happy I would feel playing.”

Through a one-year music scholarship from Passion Arts Foundation near Richmond, Ms. Ventura can pursue music again.

Last year she started to make progress in overcoming depression.

“When I was at my lowest, I opened my heart to God, and it’s gotten better,” she said.

“My depression stole a lot of being a kid,” Ms. Ventura explained. “Now I have this mindset of do what makes you happy. Picking up the violin was definitely on the top of that list.”

Determined, Ms. Ventura turned to the Internet and searched for a studio where she could rekindle her love of music.

In July she found Passion Academy in Henrico County and decided to email the staff about possible scholarships.

“I honestly wasn’t expecting a response. But, I said a little prayer to God before I sent the email,” Ms. Ventura said.

A few days later she heard from Passion Academy Founder and President Derek Smith, who had chosen her as the foundation’s first scholarship recipient.

“I would say the main reason we decided is because she has overcome a lot of pain in her life,” Mr. Smith said. “This is a perfect example of what we want to do for other people.”

Unable to work because of a recent illness, Ms. Ventura received $2,000 worth of music lessons and a violin from the nonprofit foundation.

The Passion Arts Foundation, founded about six months ago, hopes to give out about 10 scholarships a year, funded with donations and the proceeds from benefit concerts.

Over the next year, she will learn to play the violin, drums, piano, electric guitar and how to produce music. Lessons take place on Mondays for about 90 minutes.

“It makes me feel like I have some sort of purpose,” she said. “Thanks to Passion Academy, it will allow me to live my dreams.

“It’s very calming and peaceful. It gets my mind off things.”

With newfound determination and hope, Ms. Ventura plans to enter the 2018 Ms. Wheelchair Virginia pageant and raise enough money through a GoFundMe page to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

“I think that’s another cause for my depression is being held down by other people’s schedules or staying home because it’s too difficult to go out,” she said. “Me getting a car, I see that as being another catalyst. It’s going to open so many other opportunities for me.”

One day she hopes to compete in the Paralympic Games.

Ms. Ventura strives to inspire others with depression to pursue their passions and dreams.

“I feel like a lot of people get so caught up in jobs that they forget to work on themselves, on their hearts,” Ms. Ventura said. “If you have a passion, just don’t put excuses up. Go ahead and do it. The reward is going to be so much better than the risk you think will happen.”

Click below to watch interview with Virginia Ventura.