Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Arts Are More Than Just Entertainment

Mick Stevens, New Yorker Cartoon
We often hear about how music (especially classical music) is elitist and exists only to entertain the well-to-do.

Recently, my local newspaper published this report about the elimination of an area school district's music program.

I especially admire this quote from Dr. Sandra Dackow, conductor of the Hershey Symphony and internationally acclaimed educator:

“Music creates kids who can connect right and left brains, and that’s what gives the world an iPhone,” [Sandra] Dackow, in her 20th year of conducting [the Hershey Symphony], said. “Kids are hard-wired differently when they play music at an early age. Music is a discipline which gives kids the ability to make connections and think intuitively.”

It's not just learning to play something pretty to amuse Aunt Martha when she comes over to visit.
If you are a resident of Pennsylvania, please check out these links: David Dunkle's article in the Harrisburg Patriot-News (or Eleanor Chute's report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - chances are it may be reported in your own local papers) and especially the full report, Creating Pennsylvania's Future Through Arts and Education available at the Education Policy and Leadership Center's website.

Frequently seen on Facebook
Please consider contacting your Pennsylvania state representative and senator and ask them to consider this report seriously. Given the current attitudes about money and the budget in the state capital with this administration, it will need every bit of support to counteract the short-sited policies and attitudes of many government officials.

If you live in another part of the United States but support for the arts in your state or community is fighting similar challenges, please pass this information on to anybody who might be able to spread the word! Thanks.

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A short post - my laptop died yesterday, oddly enough moments after it uploaded a "PostWarranty.exe" file from the manufacturer no doubt telling me my one year warranty was up. I figured it would tell me to consider extending the warranty - but to actually cause something that would require it be taken in for repair service so blatantly? Wow...  Meanwhile, I'll continue to use my old back-up PC which still keeps crashing on me unexpectedly, the reason I had to buy the laptop a year ago in the first place...

I was in the midst of writing a post about "Pi Day" and preparing an excerpt from my new music appreciation thriller, "The Lost Chord" when - kaflooie - gone with the ethernet...

Perhaps some other day.

- Dick Strawser

1 comment:

  1. Art education goals in school therefore should be that equal exposure to the wonders of art should be given to all students, whatever age group and whatever their family backgrounds could be, because one never knows where talent might be hidden.