Although this blog focuses on classical improve, we are also passionately interested in creativity in general and creativity in arts education (or any education, for that matter). We are very interested in spreading the word that what the World (and schools) Needs Now is a very healthy shot of a “whole brain” approach to education. Small minds in governing bodies (chockablock with lawyers and business folks) are interested in cheap (i.e. no-cost), instant fixes in education (notably All Children Left Behind – “Is Our Children Learning”?) rather than long-range and effective curriculum planning. There. I said it (again). I feel better. Sort of, for a little while. Anyway, we try to keep our ears open for trends and sentiments in this direction. We would like to share some recent clippings and videos from all kinds of online sources from all over the globe. Read on.
[Malyasia]: “Out with conformity, in with creativity” by Jeannette Goon: “All children are able to learn, but educators need to develop a person holistically. … “It can’t be just the chalk and talk method.” He explains that many children are not interested in school because “what happens outside of the classroom is so different from what they’re learning the classroom.” “The world is changing rapidly and if the system [of education] doesn’t change fast enough, our graduates will be obsolete.” “When they’re younger, they’re constantly exploring the world. …But after about a year in school, their desire to learn is killed.” (quotes from Dr. Gerard Louis)”
“School Districts Sound Sour Notes to Cut Costs” by Meryl Ain, Ed.D. ” …A report…. by the US Dept of Education paints a dreary picture of arts education in the nation.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: “It is deeply troubling that all students do not have access to arts education today.” … “Involvement in the arts may provide motivation to attend school and excel in other areas.” “[Poorer students] who participate in the arts achieve as well or better than their wealthier counterparts.” “Band Director Alvin Davis… is Florida’s Teacher of the Year. For four years in a row, 100% of his band students have gone on to college; just 10 years ago the school was listed as failing.” “In a world where children are tethered to technological devices, we desperately need to provide them with vehicles to unleash their imagination and creativity.” “The arts encourage youngsters to see the world in new and inventive ways and to find different ways of solving problems and expressing themselves.” “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking and verbal skill.” “Arts education can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.” “The arts can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing.” “The arts can transcend language and cultural differences, and promote experiences of empathy.” “Arts education teaches way of thinking unavailable in any other discipline, fostering imagination.” “Creativity is essential in every discipline – medicine, business, technology, science, etc. The world needs creativity to progress. Arts education fosters the creative spirit.”
[Africa] Teachers Challenged to Compose National Anthem in Local Languages” Music can be used to teach the most difficult subjects, especially mathematics and English.” “[Music] should be part of …everyday teaching and learning activities.
Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik: “Why is music (the arts) always one of the first things to get the boot when things get tough?” “The knee-jerk reaction to cut the arts as a stopgap budget measure, especially in the United States, is an abominable disservice to our future.” “Access to quality arts education should be a right, not a vague possibility.”
[Fox News] “How Important is Music Education in Schools?” by Jennifer Cerbasi. “A 2007 study published in the Journal for Research in Music Education tied quality music education to improved academic performance – specifically, better scores on standardized tests.” “A 2005 article in The Midland Chemist found almost all of the past winners of the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science, and Technology for high school students played one or more instruments, supporting a long-debated connection between success in music and science.” “…Teachers and parents… report that studying music teaches discipline, perseverance, and work ethic.”
“The Global Search for Education: The Arts Face to Face” by C.M. Rubin. This is a report on the 2012 NYC Arts in Education roundtable, which examined best practices at home and abroad, including programs in Dallas, Venezuela, Scotland, and Finland. Finland has compulsory arts education in music, visual arts, and crafts for all students aged 7 to 16, but the Finns are working at increasing arts education in the country. Quotes from Dr. Eija Kauppinen: “Arts subjects [for] personal development. The arts are essential tops to increase self-awareness and understanding of your own and other’s experiences; the arts are a means to understanding emotions and the emotional aspects of life; the arts are also essential tools in self-expression. If we want to promote our children’s creativity, the arts play and important role. Creativity [my italics] should be part of teaching in all subject areas, of course, but the arts are key for learning active problem solving and for understanding and learning creative processes. “…The arts promote our capability to learn other subject areas, too. For instance, learning music in early childhood seems to develop one’s linguistic capacity.” “The arts should be part of everyday life in schools and a part of the operational culture of our schools.” “The aim of our music education is to develop basic knowledge in music and skills in singing, playing instruments, and composing. We should continue to strengthen all these skills in the future, but what we should promote in particular is composing. To get children involved in composing is an excellent way to promote their creativity.”