“HEAR ME” is a multi-media project aimed to enhance our communities…

“HEAR ME” is a multi-media project aimed to enhance our communities by shining a lens on the rich musical talent of the younger generation in the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass. By empowering our children to embrace and express their own individuality while inspiring them to accept the differences and similarities of others, we can effectively enrich the environment within our schools, and our society. This project will clearly illustrate the benefits of supporting Arts programs in every school and how these programs support the growth of strong, balanced and successful individuals.

The “HEAR ME” project will utilize professional audio and video recording equipment to capture individual and small groups of teenagers from all over the Pioneer Valley playing their instruments and sounding their voices to the same song. The raw footage will then be edited to create a “music video” highlighting the musical talents of our local youth. Not only can this video be utilized by schools to incorporate into their anti-bullying programs, or by after-school programs to highlight the power of individual expression, but this campaign for social change can be spread to every community through the various social media outlets as well. Our community can be the spark that lights the flame towards a more positive and accepting global community.

The inspiration for this project came from watching a video produced by “Playing for Change”, a non-profit organization created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. I share this organization’s commitment to create an environment for these young musicians to share their music freely, and I also hope to raise awareness and funding so to one day give back to our rich community of budding musicians

For this project to be successful, the video must be professional in every aspect. The people who commit to the project would have to be willing to work for credit only, as funding is not guaranteed for the project. Needed are audio technicians with portable recording equipment experienced with recording live music. Also needed are local videographers with HD equipment and strong filming and/or editing skills. I am currently seeking funding for the project, so any connections to organizations or foundations who offer grants for the arts or for projects which enhance the teenage community would be beneficial. Donations are also welcome.

Lastly, there would be no project without the kids. I would like to be connected with anyone involved in public or private teenage music programs from anywhere within the Pioneer Valley, so I can begin the process of getting the kids and their parents invested in the project.

Please have anyone interested in this project contact me at 413-588-7807 or email me: jeff@ptvid.com or jeffwinston@tapyourtruth.com

Thank You,
Jeff Winston

Defining Responsibility – NEW Post on Hilltownfamiles.com

Check out my new post: “Defining Responsibility” on the Hilltown Families website.
It’s about the theme of “Responsibility” as learned through Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild.

Go here: 

The Warmth of an Icy Afternoon – originally posted on KindOverMatter.com

Here’s my piece for the Kind Kindred series over at KindOverMatter.com

Much thanks to Amanda for allowing me to post over there. Enjoy…


Borrowed Hope


There are times when i don’t feel strong,

Like life is pulling me along

And i am hanging on by a thread.

In times like this, in times of need,

i feel there is no one but me.

i feel lost and i’m trying to move forward,

And i know this path is for me to figure out,

But i feel lost and i’m trying to move forward.


i can’t see anymore, i’ve tried to reason my life,

i can’t feel anymore, i find it hard to survive.

Can you see me at all, do you care to understand?

Can you hear me at all, will you turn your eyes again?

God let me believe the day i will be free.

i will be free.


And i’ve got good friends around me, so close i could throw a stone,

Oh, i’ve trouble relating when i’m self-medicating and alone.

And all of my life i have been having these crazy dreams,

All of my life i have been living in extremes.

And i guess i’m taking this slow, i’m on shaky feet on shaky ground


i’m standing at the edge of another precipice in life.

Gotta face my Steppenwolf,

Gotta drag you through the mud,

When i get there i will see myself.

I will look for strength within.

I will be a better woman.

Hang in there baby, I’m the grain of sand

Becoming the pearl.


It takes a few moments of whirling around

Before your feet finally leave the ground.

And fending off fears and hearing the call

And finally waiting for nothing at all.

Obstacles are stepping stones

That guide us to our goals,

Fences are filters

That purify our souls.

And the light is growing brighter now


If my finest fleet, should never reach the sea

And if my darkest hour still awaits me,

If this brief glimmer is all that’s meant to be,

Then let me walk bravely into open fields.

Lyrics borrowed from:

1. Ellis – “Angel”

2. Nil Lara – “I Will Be Free”

3. Molly Venter – “Shaky Ground”

4. Paula Cole – “Pearl”

5. Phish – “Light”

6. Meg Hutchinson – “Yet To Be”

The 4 Obstacles in The Alchemist – Posted @hilltownfamilies

One of my favorite units to teach to my 11th/12th grade English classes was based on “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coehlo. There are so many life enhancing teachable moments within this text, that this journey would inevitably take us over six weeks to complete. If you haven’t yet read this book, you should. Slowly.

One of the underlying currents throughout this book is what Coelho deems “The Four Obstacles.” For the most passionate of souls who desire to actually obtan their “treasures” in this life, these obstacles must be faced, and overcome, time and time again. For my students, and all readers, it’s where our journey into this text begins. So, let’s begin…

Read More on the Hilltown Families website: http://wp.me/p2aDO-3uA

Dispelling Fear – Posted @hilltownfamilies

Check out my latest post, Dispelling Fear, on Hilltown Families. And if you’re living in Western Mass, browse through the rest of their comprehensive site filled with resources regarding everything a family could desire.


The Mirror – Posted on @kindovermatter

Hey Everyone. Please check out my Spin Your Story post over at Kind Over Matter – a truly beautiful site. After reading my post, continue to open yourself the kind, warm energy Amanda brings to her pages. ENJOY!!



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