These are skills that students experience when they participate in the arts. Inspiring and encouraging children to understand and participate in arts is the goal of mentors like Joy Katzen-Guthrie and many of the gifted musicians with whom she works and creates. Of Musical Note, a program developed by Katzen-Guthrie, brings professional musicians into schools to explain how they craft music through their instruments, involving children in music through singing, listening, learning, questioning, and playing along with the musicians. Joy also talks with teenage and adult students about her work as a professional recording artist, performer, and producer, and as a singer-songwriter. Creative thinking skills, artistic brainstorming, concepts for musical theatre and studio recording, and the commitment involved in maintaining a professional career as an artist are all part of the discussion. Joy offers concrete advice and encouragement for turning artistic pursuits into financial and emotional success. She supports encouraging students to "do what they love, and to love what they do." And she believes all students can learn to make a career out of what they love to create, through honest and unique expression, and through dedication to a craft.
Joy has served as a Florida Artist-In-Residence throughout the state of Florida. Florida's Artist Residency Directory is published annually as part of the Department of State's Division of Cultural Affairs' Arts in Education Program. The Directory includes biographical and program information about professional visual and performing artists from Florida, as well as from other states. Artist Residencies, as sponsored and funded by the Division of Cultural Affairs' Arts in Education Program, are defined as those projects which place practicing, professional artists in Florida schools at the K through 12 or Community College level to teach all aspects of their art form, to create or perform works of art so that participants may observe the creative process, and, where appropriate, to relate their art forms to other curriculum areas.
To arrange a program for a school, group, or congregation, or to discuss having your business support the arts by sponsoring a program or program series, contact Joy at (727) 785-4568 (Tampa Bay Area), or 800-354-1302 (nationally), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing Art Into the Classroom and Other Communities
An artist residency offers students an opportunity to work with professional artists and to receive hands-on experiences with materials. Residency artists can make presentations concerning the importance of the arts in education and create field trip opportunities that augment school activities. Teachers can work directly with artists to develop a program that integrates the artist's discipline into themes and projects already in the classroom.
- Music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts can be employed in study units dealing with national, state, or cultural history.
- Incorporate arts in a science fair. Music can demonstrate principles of measurement and time; the visual arts can demonstrate the dynamics of visual processes, and sculpture can be used to illustrate principles in physics.
- Use dance, theatre, musical theatre, and musical composition to strengthen language arts programs. Involve students in storytelling projects, songwriting, and playwriting. Dance, theatre, and music can serve as subjects for writing and research, thereby developing interpretive and critical thinking skills.
- Artist residencies can take place in venues other than schools. Hospitals, elder care facilities, detention centers, community centers, and clubs are places where residencies can have a powerful impact on lives. Programs can be designed specifically to assist at-risk youth, disabilities, and others with special needs.
- In Florida, schools and organizations may fund an artist residency with funds that are allocated within the school or organization for programming purposes, or they may apply for funding through the Division of Cultural Affairs' Arts in Education Program. Contact the Division of Cultural Affairs at (850) 487-2980, or by writing: Florida Guide to Cultural Programs for Organizations, Division of Cultural Affairs, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
A copy of the Florida Artist Residency Directory is available at no charge by contacting the Division of Cultural Affairs at the phone or address above, or by contacting any county Arts Council office in Florida.
OF MUSICAL NOTE
Students of all ages have enjoyed Of Musical Note. Our desire is to generate interest in all genres of music and develop familiarity with a variety of musical instruments. Professional musicians love sharing their craft. They desire for young people to have fun, be creative and aware, and create a community together through music. Numerous musicians have offered to join this effort, bringing wind, string, percussion, and brass instruments into schools. Each musician shares his or her instrument individually, then in combination with the other instruments through a variety of musical styles and rhythms of the same piece of music. Students sing without accompaniment, then with individual instruments, then with the entire group - allowing them to hear communal creativity through the musical instruments. Students are given hand-held percussion instruments (tambourine, maracas, wood blocks, shakers, etc.) to make music with the band and experience being part of a musical community. Students also imitate instruments vocally and may ask questions about what it's like to play each instrument, how it feels to perform with other musicians, how sound is created in the instrument, and how the instruments work together to create a unified sound.
The Value of Arts Education
In recent years, schools and community organizations around the country have experienced serious set-backs in funding. Music programs have been among the first to be cut back or cut out entirely. The value of musical education, however, is priceless.
"Fifteen minutes a week of keyboard instruction plus group singing will boost kids' intelligence--especially the spatial reasoning skills needed for high-level math and science. Theory: Music lessons strengthen the connections between brain cells. In a study of 33 preschoolers, those given music lessons had a 46% increase in their spatial IQ's, compared with a 6% increase in children not given lessons."
Sources: Frances Rauscher, PhD, research psychologist, and Gordon Shaw, PhD, professor of physics, University of California, Irvine. Their eight-month study was presented at a meeting of the American Psychological Association, 750 First St., N.E., Washington, D.C., From Bottom Line Yearbook 1996
Numerous significant studies and sources site the profound benefits of musical training. A musical education gives rise to IQ, reasoning, self-confidence, hand-to-eye coordination and other physical skills, teaches discipline, concentration, and responsibility, and provides a lifelong emotional outlet for creativity and self-expression that is invaluable. It further gives young people varied career choices that allow many to express themselves uniquely and extraordinarily, both individually and as part of an artistic community.
Students today are exposed to fewer genres of music than ever before. With most radio stations limited to top 40 formats, any measurable presence of classical, film, stage, jazz, folk, ethnic, and historic music is virtually nonexistent on radio in many communities. Public and community radio move in to fill that void for an adult audience, yet most students experience little if any non-commercial programming. The opportunity to hear, touch, and sing/perform with acoustic instruments, as well as to hear the same music presented in a variety of styles, opens new vistas of interest and creativity for young people.
How Can you Support and Apply Of Musical Note?
Of Musical Note is designed for all children to hear, sing along with, and touch musical instruments. The program allows students to express an interest in music lessons and encourages study. An increased interest in music occurs after each program, affecting all who participate. Professional artists devote more time to working with young people as a result. A data base of music teachers and performers becomes available to parents, schools, and organizations. Students, parents, and schools devote greater attention to music programs, and students are exposed to sounds, instruments, and instruction that they otherwise might not experience.
Following each musical program, students fill out questionnaires asking their favorite musical instruments, have they ever studied music, would they like to study an instrument, and if they could study an instrument, what instrument would that be? Youngest students are asked to draw a memorable moment from the program.
The tabulation of questionnaires is provided to the teachers and schools as well as to others who desire to use them. Questionnaires provide an excellent evaluation of each program, indicating the percentage of new or renewed interest in musical study and the overall enthusiasm of students toward these performances and the opportunity to have participated with the musicians. The participation of professional musicians in the program also provides a strong indication of the success of the project. Musicians are in some cases donating their time or are given a small honorarium compared to their professional earnings and would not participate if they were not enthusiastically involved themselves.
How Can My Organzation and I Participate and Reap the Rewards of Arts in Education?
Won't you participate? Help us publicize this program by speaking to representatives at your children's schools and community organizations. Recommend or become a corporate sponsors who would like to expand the minds of children through music. A corporate sponsorship can, for minimal dollars, provide an honorarium for professional musicians' expenses to present these programs in schools. Some parents have donated programs to their children's schools, which has allowed us to bring the program into classrooms or school auditoriums so that all students of the school can experience this music. In addition, this program has been presented in conjunction with the Florida Artists Residency Program, which provides grants to Florida schools for residency artists through the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs.