by John Dunphy
Executive Director of TI:ME, Villanova University, PA
It has been ten years since the idea for the Technology Institute for Music Educators first emerged. Like a lot of good ideas, it happened quite by accident. Somewhere between the time that we sat down and opened our bag lunches in the Summer Music Program office and threw those empty bags in the trash, the idea caught hold. A few more discussions, a few phone calls and a challenge to apply for a grant – a gauntlet picked up and realized – and TI:ME was born. We learned an early lesson: Dreams come before reality.I would have to say a million words all at once to be convincing about the importance of dreams and their positive effect on reality. Dreaming is the first step without which there is no reality. Beginning with reality is a mistake. It is the principle reason why good ideas never see the light of day. We begin to find reasons why the idea will fail before it has had a chance to breathe, to flex its muscles, to come to life. We begin to see it within the limitations of ourselves. Instead of being open to a new idea that may require change, we dismiss it citing busy schedules, heavy workloads or lack of resources. It is easier and less taxing to find reasons for doing nothing or waiting until “the time is right”.
The best friend of a fledgling dream is belief. Expanding a dream into a virtual reality, seeing it as a make-believe fact takes effort. At this point, believing in the dream is essential. If the dream is shared with other believers who gently hand it from one to another, it begins to take a shape, becomes a composite, community dream and slowly becomes a shared vision. Then comes the difficult part. The dreamers, now visionaries, need to encourage each other, confronting “why” with “why not” and defending their new concept.
The journey from idea to reality takes time. It takes meetings and phone calls. It requires constant attention to detail. It demands patience and adaptability. The years of work with educators and industry have been rewarding. TI:ME’s rise has been the result of the dedication and work of hundreds of people. Their intention to bring music and the tools of technology to the students of our schools through a concerted interaction with music educators has been the core of TI:ME’s message.
In my humble opinion, the goals of the Technology Institute for Music Educators will help to improve the way music is taught in our schools. It will bring the joy of music to thousands of children and will be part of a cultural change in our world. That’s what the dream is about. There is plenty of room in this dream for everyone. In fact, we are looking for a few full time dreamers to keep the dream afloat or even to dream it into a new direction. What are you doing for the next 10 years?
TI:ME Executive Director