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People You Should Know: Laurie Lock–Music and Arts Education Advocate

A tribute is in order, I strongly believe, because I know few people who have been such fierce, honest, and strategic advocates for music and arts education as is Laurie Lock. You see, Laurie, after 11 years of directing programs and policy at VH1 Save The Music Foundation, is stepping down to care for her daughter full-time. Of course, Laurie has had great colleagues at VH1 Save The Music who have partnered with her on all of her great work. But if you haven't had the chance to work with her directly, you will have missed the opportunity … [Read more...]

A Shot To The Foot: How The Arts Ed Field Can Be Its Own Worst Enemy

I have been meaning to write about this these two horribly disappointing Opininator posts in The New York Times: Beyond Baby Mozart, Students Who Rock, by David Bornstein Rock is Not The Enemy, by David Bornstein For about as long as I have been in this field, which is longer than I would now like to admit, I have witnessed the unfortunate tendency for us to shoot ourselves in the foot. It could be the arguments of discipline-based versus integration, it could be residencies versus field trips, aesthetic versus creative, blah, blah, … [Read more...]

I Hate to Be Out of Step: Have the Dividing Lines Among Musical Genres Disappeared?

I have had many a conversation about how the dividing lines among musical genres (and other arts disciplines) were "breaking down or blurring." So, as I was watching this video about a really swell festival taking place next month, "Sonic: Sounds of a New Century" by The American Composers Orchestra, I was quite struck by John Schaefer talking about the group of young composers (and I would add performers) for whom the dividing lines have simply disappeared. Take a look at this terrific teaser video, and follow the link below it if you … [Read more...]

Batuta — Columbia’s El Sistema. An Essay by Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall

As I write, I am staring out the window on the 7:00 Acela heading to DC from New York Penn Station. I have a board meeting of Common Core, for which I am board treasurer. What was a sunny day in New York, has turned into a deep fog. The train moves through the fog like a bullet through space. Oh, and let me make a plug for the upcoming report by Common Core on the narrowing of the curriculum. recently published a nice little feature. Fortunately, there is no fog to be pierced in Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall's essay Batuta, the … [Read more...]

I Support Choice–Choice in Opinions About Schools!

Well, it's already late day Wednesday, and I am a bit behind in posting my blog entries this week. That's what happens, I suppose, when you're a blogger with a board meeting (yesterday). Even with my board meeting over, I've been slammed with meetings.That being said, I am very happy to support choice when it comes to education. And to help illustrate that, here's a video of Diane Ravitch, which is my way of helping to make sure you have a choice of opinions to choose from about K-12 education in America. It comes from a September 24th address … [Read more...]

You Can’t Even Give Music Education Away for Free: PS24 in The Bronx

Okay, I hear you in advance: it's one single example. But let's look a bit more deeply at it, shall we?Take a good gander at this article from a local newspaper. Why would a principal turn a program away, when it's being provided for free, is being embraced by other schools in the area, and the schools are facing historic budget cuts? Why is the principal allowed to do it? What is there to be done, if anything?I asked another school principal about it, who shall remain nameless, for the NYCDOE is a tough place for those who choose to speak … [Read more...]

Juillard Makes Cuts to MAP Program

In today's New York Times there is an article about cuts Juilliard is making to it's Musical Advancement Program (MAP), which serves low income students. The article also mentions cutbacks made to the Academy program, but doesn't provide details.This news comes on the heels of the Curtis Institute announcing a new facility. It's a good example of the schizoid nature of the world, all challenge and opportunity, I guess. It's big money flowing through the stimulus while all sorts of cuts are occurring across all sectors of the economy. … [Read more...]

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