This past term, the day after the Dean of the College of Arts and Science Peter Stoicheff”s acoustic guitar noon-hour concert, I got two recommends for new and up-coming recording artists.

Stella Swanson is my second cousin. Her grandmother sent me a link to the interview she did with CBC radio and one of Stella’s songs. I listened and was blown away! Stella and her mom and sister had done “in-house concerts” when I visited them this past spring and it was awesome. Talk about taking it to the next level with the CD release and website. Her CD is “I’m not a Bunny.” I bought her CD on iTunes and it is what she described in her interview: she thought music for kids could be written and recorded by a kid.

Dean Peter Stoicheff and Jim Cuddy 2

Peter Stoicheff with Jim Cuddy in 2012

Stella is 8 years old.

Later that same day, I got a text from a friend recommending, out of the blue, Sam Smith’s debut CD. I listened to several songs on YouTube and then bought the CD, on iTunes once again. This is one you may have heard.

Sam Smith is 22 years old.

Stella is home-schooled. Sam started his music career, by-passing college, after leaving home and schooling at 18.

There are a couple of reasons for sharing this with you…

Stella and Sam are doing what they love and sharing it with the world. Stella’s school for these past six months has been writing lyrics and music and recording the cd with a Juno winning artist. Sam is traveling and sharing his music all over the world. I am excited to see where their paths take them! It may or may not involve universities…

Heather Ross, my colleague at the GMCTE recently briefed me on “personal learning networks” (PLN) and this was a huge validation of that concept for me. Through my PLN I got the heads up on this music. I don’t watch television or listen to the radio so music has to find me in other ways and in one day it was through my PLN which I didn’t even know about as a concept two weeks earlier.

I invite you to think about your personal learning networks and what they bring to you and how you contribute back. As for me, I wrote a blog post. 😉

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