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I find myself reflecting on how, in music, rudiments like scales, arpeggios,
and interval training are introduced from the beginning and continue to
be practiced and developed for a lifetime. While these rudiments are
a constant, they are a means not an end. We will never hear them
performed in concert or at a recital, no matter how well they've been
been mastered. Parallel examples can be found in dance and athletics.
What might be the counterpart(s) in art? Are there rudiments unique
to all forms of visual expression. Are they introduced early and
practiced continually to facilitate fluency of expression?
Are there rudiments that are unique to each of the traditional art
mediums and processes of drawing, painting, printmaking and
sculpting? Are they introduced early and practiced continually
to facilitate fluency of expression?
Are there rudiments that are unique to traditional craft mediums and
processes involving clay, handmade paper, and fibers (basketry or
weaving)? Are they introduced early and practiced continually to
facilitate fluency of expression and production?
The question can be applied to both students whose only studio
encounters are with school-based studio projects as well as those
whose studio experiences come through recreational programs or
perhaps even private lessons.
Beginning (group or private) music students have weekly assignments
which include some rudiments, theory, work on a variety of pieces for
a variety of learning purposes and focused work on a particular piece
(or pieces) in preparation for an annual or semi-annual recital. What
is the comparable breadth of structured, intentional preparation and
study for elementary age students (school-based or private) which
might (should?) precede the annual or semi-annual exhibition of several
I'm thinking that there's a whole discipline of practice (a pedagogy?)
that might be missing here...what do you think?
Mark Joyce joycem Concordia College Ann Arbor, MI