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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
similarities
between learning music and learning mathematical concepts (is it no
accident that
music teachers on the whole 'get' the statistical analysis of data from
assessment
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

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