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Educator | Performer | Clinician | Composer

We ARE the ARTS!


This is a very short and simple blog that I feel needs to help me improve and understand new ideas and perspectives.

Here are the points:



1) EVERYONE MATTERS –  I am finding more and more that “music education” programs are trying to find ways to put students in an ensemble that fits them or that they belong in.  WHY? Aren’t the ARTS where we are suppose to encourage exploration, discovery, and CREATIVITY?  So let’s drop the notion that getting a score or a trophy matters more than creating transformative REAL experiences in the arts. Sorry but that means – not everyone needs to fit in a mold of ONE thing or another.  SPORTS PARALLEL = if I play soccer does that mean I MUST BE IN FOOTBALL TOO?  What if I hate football? 


2) STUDENTS CHOICE- Far too often we forget- no matter what level …. K-PHD that the students are the clients. As a business model that means we serve their needs.  RIGHT? If they want to learn a particular art or be in one ensemble vs. another —-what is wrong with that? Also, so many other artistic entities have evolved while others are staying the same or remaining stagnant —- but yet we expect todays students (who think and move faster than ever and need variety) to get excited about the same things that some of us might have appreciated many years ago. Don’t misunderstand me please. I find the value in many things traditional.  However, when something new and exciting in anything education —-ESPECIALLY THE ARTS comes along, I like to embrace it!  Let’s collaborate! Let’s NOT talk about a way that it detracts from something that was established as a “standard” 50 years ago!


3) Let’s Stop COMPARTMENTALIZING- I truly believe the only way we prepare our students to be collaborative and creative is by giving them collaborative and creative experiences.  This means we cannot just say the arts are 1 dimensional.  That goes for visual arts seeing just one perspective , band directors focusing on just one perspective or refusing to embrace the notion that multicultural music is and will continue to be the future of music education and can help ALL TIDES RISE,  or theatre arts choosing to only study Shakespeare or one dimensional concepts of acting that do not serve our students in a way that educates them for what is out their for them in the real world is TODAY. I learned all the standards in college both Undergraduate School then Graduate School where I chose to focus and learn my craft on that level —- should public education force the level of higher education on students in the name of “preparation?”


In short, should we all should abandon the notion of either/or because we need to embrace “AND” as the “AND” will be what serves our students the best.  We all know that the educational systems in our country are trying to “standardize” everything and it is not working. NOPE!  It never has.  Never will.  Community is created by the arts —- but are we waiving the flag of creativity while trying to standardize everything too just to fit into the educational “model” ……  ?  Just a question to think about. Thanks for reading.