Today’s Class: February 6, 2015

Sydney Flanagan is a singer, songwriter, musician and performing artist.   She is presently a sophomore at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School.   Sydney visited our ‘Life Skills’ class yesterday to share her story.  Gisabel Salcedo was our class host, welcoming Sydney and her father, Matthew, to Hope and introducing them to her ‘Life Skills’ classmates.

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Sydney Flanagan (right).  Matthew Flanagan (center) and our host, Gisabel Salcedo, listen as Sydney began her story.

Sydney’s story is about a person finding their “Element;

as creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, has told the world, a person finds their ‘Element’ when they’re doing things they like to do and they do it well! Robinson contends the “Element” experience enables people to be themselves, to be excited about what they’re doing and, in the process, achieve the highest level of personal satisfaction.  Sydney told the class “I found music.  It’s always been a part of our home.  My Dad’s a musician…. I enrolled in the School of Rock and met a lot of new people who also have a passion for music…. I felt a little nervous in the beginning….  Because we all love music, I made friends quickly…….We practice together, collaborate to write songs and perform in different clubs in the area……  music has helped me push myself out of my comfort zone to do things I once questioned I could….. I feel good when I’m playing, singing and composing with my friends.

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Sydney performing one of her songs for the class. She explained she composed this particular song in 90 minutes, just in time to play it for her father as his gift on Father’s Day.

 Sydney shared her secrets for being creative.  “I find myself most creative when my emotions are intense, whether it sadness or happiness.  This is when I write a lot of my music”.   Sydney also spoke about extending herself beyond her comfort zone especially when she’s performing.  “Getting out of my comfort zone has a lot to do with how I feel about mistakes.  When I make a mistake with a song or playing, I no longer get upset.  Sometimes it’s even funny.  

I use my mistakes as lessons to get better

for the next time I perform.”

When Sydney spoke about

collaborating with friends to write songs, she spoke about the importance of compromise. 

I may not always agree but I understand to get things done and keep everyone involved, it’s sometimes best to compromise.  To really collaborate, everyone in the group needs to contribute.  Compromise keeps everyone involved….feeling like they’ve been part of the song.”

Sydney’s perspective on ‘creativity’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘compromise’ should serve our ‘Life Skills’ class well as students prepare an entrepreneurial activity where they form small groups to design, market and sell their custom teeshirt through a Providence company called TeeSpring.

The class ended with our usual networking time giving students the opportunity to continue the conversation with Sydney, exchange business cards and hopefully add Sydney to their network.

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Aileen Rodriguez Jimenez (left) speaking with Sydney during our networking session.

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Manny Rivas (left) speaking with Sydney during the class networking session.

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Matthew Flanagan (left), Sydney and Gisabel during the ‘Life Skills’ networking session.

One thought on “Today’s Class: February 6, 2015

  1. Thank you so so much for allowing me to be a part of your class Friday, it was an amazing experience and I feel honored to have been able to share my musical stories with you, I hope to be able to see you all again soon!

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