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Re: MUSIC in the art room

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 13 2002 - 05:33:37 PST


>I also occationally let the kids play their own music
> (high school level) any noise problems or inappropriate language
> in the music and it gets turned off.
> My biggest problem is one group not wanting to listen to what
> the other group wants or wanting to "baby sit" the CD player and
> change songs, I tell them if we can't listen to the entire CD straight
> through don't bring it.... Julie

Many artists that create art, are also musicians and vice versa. I am
coming out with my second cd in roughly a month or so. I performed locally
the other night from 8pm until midnight...and quite a few of our students
with parents attended. I asked the next day if anyone noticed (I do 90%
originals), that in that whole time I didn't perform anything lewd,
prurient, etc.?

That so many artists are also musicians, etc., provides us a means to
intertwine the two. I remind my students that music is an art form, and
what we are about in the room involves the arts. I also remind them I am a
teacher given a position of responsibility and what I allow to be played
will be understood to have had my approval.

I've had a number of kids bring their cd's, but many do not have lyrics or
lose them when they put their cd's in their convenient cd carriers. I will
not play them until I have had a chance to check them out, however...they
know I'm a busy guy. I was not hired to be a DJ....and when kids do bring
their own cd's...they do get OVER concerned of what's to be played. They
are easily distracted, and will argue. Thus, I rarely rarely use any
student's cd's. I do have my own collection in my room of about 100 cd's,
and about 200 more at home.

I use the art idea...that is, all music is an art form. One day we might
listen to POD or CREED as a grunge alternative style....the next day a cd on
Classical. The next day Celtic music, and on another day Native American.
They complain from time to time, but I dismiss it with the argument that
they will watch a historical video in Social Studies.....and that here in my
art room, we are about the arts. If they want to listen to what they want,
that is what their evenings and weekends are for.

We often have discussions about excellence. About how the arts can lift up
or tear down. Honor or degrade the artist and its intended audience. We
represent excellence. The passion for life. Orson Wells once pointed out
that- nothing is worth pursuing except that which others think impossible.
I try to be consistent in that when I raise the bar with the visual
aesthetic, I do so with music, etc; It has required it to be an education
for myself. There are musicians that put out styles of music kids like who
carry a burden for youth...and in so doing, do not themselves write and
perform songs that are self-destructive, sexual, etc;

I am also sometimes quite frank. When some kids ask why I won't play Kid
Rock or other similar music...I tell them that as an artist I have quite an
active visual mind. As a musician I also have the habit and ability to hear
and understand music. I do not need to be walking around MY room cognizant
of some guy on the boom box encouraging me to think of women/girls in the
degrading manner that he is. I let them know I work around girls, and wish
to think only of them in a positive and respectful professional manner.
That usually brings a few giggles, but I think they get my point and respect
me for it.

Larry

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