The basics or the ornamental basics?

The 1990s produced new attention on basic skills that all children should have from and within many disciplines, including the visual and performing arts. Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic – the nostalgic three r’s of schooling – what is considered basic? Is it enough to read, or should we make opportunities and situations that instill a desire to read? Do we write to be mechanically and structurally correct, or do we promote writing to share something interesting? Does math teach us simply to calculate, or are we to learn to reason? Beyond these three r’s, there is the argument that schools are to foster well-developed minds. In the United States, are we not to provide the opportunities for our children to enjoy the intellectual and artistic wealth of our expansive nation? If we are to have even basic knowledge of “the arts” in school, does this broad discipline become part of the basics, or are they ornamental and to be acknowledged after the other basics? The arts, whether visual or performance-based, give children opportunities to experience, understand and to enjoy the important cultural resources of a community or the nation. These are expressive and aethstetic aspects of the world, which are considered to transform the brain into mind (Eisner, 1988).

Eisner, E. (1988). Role of discipline-based art education in American schools. Los Angeles, CA: The Getty Center for Education in the Arts


About mundyviar

Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a newly relocated music teacher in the Palm Springs Unified School District of California, USA. For the past 18 years, he served the students and families within the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. In this role, he discovered the need for a reevaluation of the roles, purposes, and directions of scholastic music in a changing community and in a changing economy. The direction of his doctoral work was largely influenced by this experience. He researches the attitudes, levels of satisfaction, and lifelong learning effects of music training both inside and outside of the traditional school experience, with an eye on the roles that community based organizations may play in this. Prior to his assignment as a public school music teacher, Dr. Viar served as a Program Director for the Blue Devils, an internationally revered youth organization dedicated to performance excellence, also based in Concord, California, USA. During his time with the Blue Devils, the "B" Corps was reinvigorated and performed with renewed excitement, proficiency, and levels of success. Under Dr. Viar's guidance, BDB performed in the 1997 Drum Corps International World Championships in Orlando, Florida, and the 1998 World Marching Band Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a graduate of the Transformative Inquiry Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (PhD) in San Francisco, California, USA. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley; Single Subject Teaching Credential from the Bay Area College of Chapman University in Orange, California; and a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Community and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University of Richmond, Virginia, USA.
This entry was posted in Arts Education, Community, Cultural Education, education, Music Education. Bookmark the permalink.

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