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Lesson Plans

Re: art and sports

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Thu, 22 Apr 1999 12:50:32 -0500

About sports programs and the arts, you also expressed that very well.
Sadly, it doesn't stop with high school. The kids who go through high school
being taught that artists are unpaid volunteer decorators-on-demand keep
that attitude into adulthood. "Its good exposure", "c'mon, you're so
talented, it will just take a minute", "we really need you, we knew you
wouldn't mind". Such work can be fun, it can be a "point of entry" for shy
kids to take part in the social functions that wouldn't welcome them
otherwise, but it can also really devalue those skills and abilities. And
it's painful when the classmates you just did hours and hours of free work
for don't know who you are in the hall the next day, at least not until they
need more free art.

And Band!! all that energy just to entertain at football games and parades,
halfway learning tacky marchable arrangements and instruments the vast
majority will never use after graduation. But, all those kids at home in the
evenings trying to teach themselves guitar, or spending hours and hours on
private piano and violin lessons. I wish there were classes in, say, Blues,
or in Baroque, and the development of small ensembles that might stay
together for years and years in small towns. Too much work? no, there's just
no way to use that at halftime. I can't believe I wasted that much time,
after having studied another instrument continually since the age of 4,
learning something else I could MARCH with just so I could participate! The
summer of my junior year it really dawned on me what was going on, and I
quit. First chair on clarinet AND saxophone, and I just quit. No regrets.
Took art instead.

touched a big ol' nerve there, Bob!