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Lesson Plans

Re: Practice (Music & Art)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Marge Dickinson (dickinsonm)
Sat, 21 Sep 1996 15:26:05 -0500

Sandra wrote:
>Mark Joyce's statements about "practice" within the visual arts as compared
>to "practice" within music are quite interesting. However, I can also think
>of many students who drop out of music because they cannot take the
>continuous rudimentary practice that goes on. If the visual arts stressed
>such practice would we not also drive students away? I'm not saying that
>practice is not worthwhile, but just that making it a regular chore would
>perhaps weed out too many students. That brings me back to the art as play
>discussion too. Could it be that the visual arts, because unique,
>personally created products are the primary goal, cannot really be compared
>with music, in which skills at performing someone elses unique, personally
>created products is the primary goal? (No offense intended towards
>performing artists).
>Sandra Hildreth <shildret>
>Art 7-12, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
>Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617

I agree. I have worked on developing curriculum and assessments with large
groups of music
and visual arts teachers. As a result, I find that there are great
between learning music and learning mathematical concepts (is it no
accident that
music teachers on the whole 'get' the statistical analysis of data from
a lot faster than visual artists on the whole - please don't bury me with
exceptions as
I am talking about percentages here).

I have noticed that music - at the elementary level as it is taught by most
music teachers
- stresses fundamentals with little variations allowed. I don't see this
as bad but it is not what we
teach in the visual artists. We feel dismayed if we see 26 turkeys lined
up on the walls
of a room - all identical except for variation in color - but we like to
hear music sung by
children which is unified, children singing all together accurately.
Creativity is not
encouraged as a rule in music. Why is this? I remember that one teacher,
in an elementary
school in which I taught, taught the children to write their own songs, to
create music using
the fundamentals taught. I have never seen this since - and the elementary
teachers were
horrified that the children 'were never singing.'

I guess I have rambled a bit but I wanted to share this observation.


Marge Dickinson
Galva, IL
e-mail: dickinsonm
phone: 309-932-2880
fax: 309-932-8207