Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 14th 2013 Contents B4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 14, 2013
The third edition of Shades of
Vaughnette...The Concert Experience,
scheduled for last Saturday, has been
Over the past few years, local jazz
and world music fans have come to
anticipate a concert offering in the
month of November from the produc-
ers of the successful annual series, fea-
turing gifted La Brea singer Vaughnette
Happily, though, the reason for there
being no show this year is that Bigford
is now the proud mother of a healthy,
bouncing baby boy. "At first we played
with the idea of still doing the concert
on a smaller scale, but in the end, we
decided to postpone Shades this year,"
said Bigford, who has been consistently
earning glowing tributes for her rich,
earthy vocal ability and her engaging
stage personality. "But, we d like to
thank our supporters who ve been
inquiring about the show, and let them
know that we ll be back with a bang
next year," she said in an interview,
with a broad smile.
Local music fans can stay tuned and
keep checking the press and social
media for details of the new concert
dates, tentatively billed for the new
Shades of Vaughnette
2013 edition postponed Some of you may have heard
the story about WD40 and the
chemist who helped develop it.
He had tried 39 times to create
a formula to prevent corrosion
and finally, on his 40th attempt,
he did it.
In the classroom, students may
be on their 40th attempt at learn-
ing to read, or their 100th. These
students have tried before and not
achieved the result, but like the
WD40 chemist, they persevere.
Helping them to continue trying
are Alta s tutors.
Tutors are trained to make each
attempt a teachable moment. By
praising what was done right and
guiding the student to correct
mistakes, tutors draw on the value
of mistakes. Praise makes worth-
while the efforts of students and
seeing mistakes, tutors learn what
will and won t work in the class-
Below, one tutor talks about
how mistakes shaped her devel-
opment over the years.
I grew up in quiet Pt Fortin in
an era when children were seen
and not heard, when they were
told, not asked, when power and
authority resided in grown-ups.
Consequently, I was extremely shy
and remained in the background
as much as possible.
I deem my first Alta classroom
"teaching" experience a total dis-
aster. As with every first term,
there was the usual crush of stu-
dents at that teaching session---
rows and rows of strangers with
eyes fixed on me as I came to the
front of the room to do the intro-
duction to the lesson. The reading
passage was a love song sung by
Celine Dion and composed for the
I was prepared. I had done my
research well and had a full page
of information on the tragedy
which I read out without once
making eye contact with any stu-
dent. I did not set the stage for
discussions and quickly left the
front. I had not fulfilled the aim
of any introduction, which is to
prepare students for reading and
to stimulate thinking.
Prior to doing the Alta training,
I knew nothing about phonics,
schwas or spelling rules. I was an
avid reader as a child, reading from
Grimm s Fairly Tales to the news-
papers, with my father supplying
a word when I stumbled.
Having done the Alta training,
I now see that literacy is a complex
skill which non-readers struggle
to master. I have come to respect
and appreciate our students for
their courage in coming forward
and letting the world know that
they cannot read. Armed with a
store of knowledge, self confidence
and people-skills, I am meeting
student expectations today.
Mistakes are how we learn
Vaughnette Bigford's rich, warm tones
have been thrilling audiences both locally
and internationally since she debuted in
2004 at Pan Royale, the forerunner to the
T&T Steelpan & Jazz Festival.
Her love for jazz music coupled with her
natural talent has led to collaborations
with top-tier musicians: Theron Shaw,
Ray Homan, Raf Robertson, Ron Reid,
Frankie McIntosh and others.
In 2008, she became one of few
Caribbean nationals to be awarded a
scholarship to attend the Summer
Performance Programme at the
prestigious Berklee College of Music in
Boston. Bigford has since showcased her
vocal mettle at music festivals such as:
Jazz Artists on the Greens (T&T): Berklee
Summer Concert Series (Boston);
Beantown Jazz Festival, with Nona
Hendryx and Gabrielle Goodman; and, the
Louis Armstrong Birthday Jazz Concert
with Gwyn Jay Allen.
With vocals evoking a distinct Caribbean
charisma and a personality that
embraces you like a longtime friend,
Bigford continues to charm her audiences
wherever she performs.
Alta is looking for volunteers for
the 2013/2014 academic year.
Become an Alta volunteer tutor,
a Reading Circle guide or assist
students with the Reading
Companion software on the
computer. Call 624-Alta (2582)
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to
set up an interview.
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