“Education is not the filling of a pail. It is the lighting of a fire.”

Today I met with Lisa Altman.  Lisa and her husband are new to Utah and we were introduced by a mutual friend.  Lisa and her husband are both former Opera singers who have spent their lives supporting and promoting the arts.  They came to Utah for her husband to take a position as the Executive Director of Ballet West and Lisa has now taken the position of Executive Director for the non-profit, Gifted Music School.

The truth is that before today I had never heard of Gifted Music School.  Then Lisa played a video for me of an orchestra playing an incredible piece.  They were amazing.  Then she had me take a closer look – this was no ordinary orchestra – this was an orchestra of children!  Children from the age of 6-18 years old were the ones playing this incredible performance.  As I looked closely at the video I saw that there were children so small that their heads were barely noticeable in the background.  I was blown away.  Lisa explained that the Gifted Music School finds child prodigies.  These kids are the best of the best.  These kids were born into this world with an unquestionable God given talent that became evident within their first few years of life.  The school auditions these kids and scholarships are provided to fund any child with talent having an opportunity to excel, thus keeping economic status from being a hindrance standing in the way of their talents.  Currently they have around 30 or so children participating on scholarship, and these kids could give the best of the best a run for their money, and that is not an exaggeration.  Here is a video clip of one of their performances…..remember you have to look close to see the little heads in the group….wow!


What an amazing program!  And what amazing children!  I mean truly incredible!  You would have to hear them perform to believe it.  And I LOVE that this charity exists to help these kids develop their talent early in their life.

Our children today are all prodigies in their own rights.  Some in music, some in sports, some in math, some in science, some in leadership, some in entrepreneurship. I believe every child comes into this world with a God given talent and it is our responsibility as adults to help them discover and believe in their talents.  It is our responsibility to teach and encourage and mentor and support them in growing their talents.  I believe the best way to educate our children is to first get them excited about learning…then teach them.  Help children see the value of what you are about to teach them, then give them the lesson. If a child is bored in a class it’s because they simply don’t see the benefit of the information they are being asked to learn, so as parents and teachers and role models it is our job to make sure we are helping them see the benefit of what they are going to learn.  That is how passion is created in our children.

“Education is not the filling of a pail. It is the lighting of a fire.” -William Butler Yeats

I am grateful to have been so inspired today by the talent of these young people and I am grateful to be reminded of just how amazing our youth today are.  Thank you to all of the programs and charities and teachers out there who are doing everything they can to light the fire of excitement in our youth today!

Have a great weekend everyone!  It’s my husband’s birthday tomorrow so I can’t finish my blog today without giving a shout out to the sexiest man I know!  Happy Birthday Sweetheart!! I love you!  And thank you to his mother and father for bringing him into this world all those years ago tomorrow and for raising such an amazing son.  I love you both as well!



  • Norman Wright says:

    Great post Amy. In a world where information is readily available to most, the emphasis on sharing knowledge is/should be giving way to helping students find the passion within. Thanks for your support to high school and university students as they seek to find that passion.

  • Ernest says:

    I love this post and happy birthday to your husband

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