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Mandy Franciskovich

Technician, Communicatio Technology Services

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Our Artists and Musicians of the future at risk of extinction?

As a musician and artist myself, I cannot imagine a life without being able to sing, play an instrument, paint a piece, or shoot a photo. These things for me, like so many others, made life and school a little more bareble in my earlier years. Now, with that said, can you imagine schools without these extracurricular activities? Many schools across the nation have deemed these programs "unnecessary" for the student curiculum, and yet, supports the sports programs unquestionably. For many, Art and Music is a "destresser" and while doing so it is the only time that they feel excepted by their peers. These things encourage creativity and personality. It may not be everyone's cup of tea is to go outside and run chasing a soccer ball, to write a short story for English or even to solve an algebraic equation. It is this area alone where some students find that they excel in. I want to know why is it that Art and Music Programs around the nation are starting to dwindle away when there is so much good that can potentially come out of these classes? Many schools think that this topic/these classes are unimportant in the wider view of things. If everyone chooses their own path, and there is already so much bad in the world, why not encourage a positive program and may appeal to some, though not others? Art and Music keeps some kids off the streets, gives them a reason to go to school at all. I can't understand why school districts would take our potential genius Artists and Musicians of the future hopes away, especially when it very well may be all that they have. Math is necessary, as is History and English, but to some, so is Art and Music. It is not just something to be interested in. For many, such as myself, it is a way of life and living.

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    Feb 20 2012: Dear Mandy - I can not answer your question why art and music "dwindle away in the US when there is so much good that can potentially come out of these classes?"

    But maybe I can name an example and reason that helps you arguing your case in the US:

    In Germany the State of North-Rhine Westfalia implemented a program for all school kids in the 5 - 7 grade: each child could choose an instrument and learn it for 3 years - all costs paid: the instrument and the teaching.

    The reason behind it followed this thought:
    what do you teach children for live if 50% of the jobs they could work in in 25 years are not existing today? Did we know anything about the iPad 5 years ago?
    Our government decided to teach and enable kids to grasp "the new", to switch perspective and to view details in a larger context ( composition)... you teach them tools for life: Music is doing this at a very early age.

    Once you are good musician, you can be anything - lead a car company or do math.... but the other way round...?

    our centre however goes a different way - non-music, non curriculum: we promotes street art outside of schools - to give more creativity to kids; to change things within the school system is very difficult and take 15 years in Germany .... too long: http://bit.ly/AiBKAd
  • Feb 19 2012: Art will only die along with humanity - figuratively and literally. When I was younger, I hated my existence within high school and society as a whole with a nearly incapacitating passion, yet a passion that I was able to direct toward music, which allowed me to get through it all and graduate. Wherever there is suffering or loneliness, there will be human beings brave enough to try and dispel the void and authentically communicate with one another through art. It will be these humans who refuse to give in, who do not abide by a dusty dichotomy of weaknesses and strengths, for they know that their weakness in one narrow field is exactly what gives them strength in those more central to who they are.

    If there is ever any doubt, my favourite argument would have to be this:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/astonishing_performance_by_a_venezuelan_youth_orchestra_1.html
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    Feb 19 2012: I don't think artists or musicians will ever die out. The way we organize our school systems may stifle some sort of formal training, but as long as we have capacity for thought we will have capacity for creative and individual expression. so rest easy there...

    I would like to touch on one thing though that I find upsetting. The division between Art and Music and English papers, math problems, and sports. This is not something, Mandy, that I think you are alone in doing. We are all taught that these subjects are separate and completely unrelated to one another. It would be much more fruitful to go back to a pedagogy that highlights the intersection of all these schools of thought.

    Art = Geometry = Math = Music = Poetry = English = History = Geography = Geology = Chemistry = Physics = Sports

    you get the idea! haha, I think some of the subjects are a bit of a leap, but I hope I illustrated my point.

    Thanks for your question Mandy!
  • Feb 18 2012: No. Certainly not within your lifetime, if ever. In fact, I imagine their ranks will grow as society becomes more enlightened and appreciates their value. POWER TO THE CREATIVE!
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    Feb 17 2012: I believe that it is a great loss to cut out such programmes from schools, it comes from a mere misunderstanding of the potential. Unless you can live out of your art, you will find yourself to face the job market and such courses create skills.
    The precision and dedication required to learn art, even if you have a talent for that, are qualities needed in all field. A mind that is able to think broader is necessary in a world like ours where things are in one minute and out the next. Art is made of connections, so understanding art will develop your mind into one able to connect things and take conclusions.
    Especially if you will not be an artist in your future, you should have the broadest education ever and so one including the arts too.
    I don't think it is a necessity only to the few that will eventually be artists, even if depriving them of the possibility to discover their talent even when the family environment is not able to do it is a real problem. I think they will discover it eventually, but it may be too late.
    School must educate the future generations of creativity.
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    Feb 16 2012: We're discussing the relationships between the artist and their educational upbring and the effect of less artistic focus in school. In my opinion, at the heart of education is politics and industry. The leaders of our world determine our law and structure through their value systems, and I believe that many of them believe the practical structures are more valuable than conceptual structures. "Those who don't create dictate the structure of our world…”

    This next bit is conjecture on my part, based on what I've learned about the media industry and how our economy works. Art is capitalized in many forms by media corporations. Since our society is built upon the swirling money-trade, those artistic processes which are more expensive to create are the ones most valued, as they create more money through their massive spending.

    Media corporations of this kind profit more by selling many simple artistic units, made by fewer individuals. Corporations profit if they can sell that art for it's intrinsic value as art, but diminish the cost of its production - simple art is more valuable to a corporation than complex art since the experiential value may be equal or greater if the consumer accepts the ease of 'simple art' over 'complex art' - and the average person has, haven't they?

    In response to these focuses, Underground and Alternative styles of complex and rebellious art have formed. U&A art styles are not as profitable by corporations, so they are not produced or advertised as a primary product. But thanks to the internet, there has been a growing awareness of U&A art. These movements are making it difficult to maintain profitable companies revolving around art.

    If we can abolish entertainment industry, we can shift the focus of our industrial efforts to the practical infrastructure of our world and 'free time' for people, allowing more time for art and creating a greater focus on local art. Art education will then be fundamental for our communities' cultures.
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    Feb 16 2012: The Earth without art is just "eh"
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    Feb 15 2012: artisits and muscians will never be extinct..... now if you are asking whether or not they will reach the immortal levels like bach, mozart, and michael jackson, who's to say.

    I actually believe art and music is just as necessary as math or english, and, even if Art and Music programs get eliminated from each and every school, i am sure there will be another institution which would keep the music playing.
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    Feb 21 2012: This is why the best artists are so cool. They thrive without support.
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      Feb 21 2012: yes - and no! don´t artist thrive for immaterial benefits ? - recognition, quality, fame, fans asf....
      in a way these are pay offs, though not in cash, but just as or even more rewarding?
  • Feb 20 2012: Well art free'S the humam soul music painting ect. And there will be to many people to fool so those in claiming authority must supress the concieus mind very early in life to maintain controll over human population you know in your heart this world can let u down because as a species we are capable pf much much more than what we percieve Google Deadpoolmak90sw
  • Feb 20 2012: I have two thing to say. First, I think art is doing well in the broadest sense, at least the visual arts. I think the internet has created or presented an opportunity for people to create artful things. A webpage may not be what one considers to be a canvas for artist expression, but I would hate to see what the web would have looked like if it had stayed in it's wood grained background state of the early mid 90's. Second, I would say that for the exceptional art, it has moved to other mediums. Certainly there are gifted painters, but the things we say wow over now are different. And, in a way, we have become jaded and spoiled, and we have to have something really different to capture our interest.
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    Feb 19 2012: If artists an musicians become extinct, then our species will have become partially extinct, a species without a soul. The big push in education now is STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. But, if that emphasis means diminishing our commitment to and appreciation of the arts, we run the risk of living in a monochrome world without the capacity to create and appreciate beauty. Robust school programs in the arts are essential to the maintenance of a vibrant and civil society.
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    Feb 19 2012: Hi Mandy. Good question.

    It may seem that the arts will live or die according to what society deems as important, but my thoughts are that such value judgements are distorted by the vagaries of ‘current reality’.

    Modern society (the current reality) marks what it thinks is important by a willingness to pay for it. If the arts are struggling, it means that those who wield acquisitive power do not value it for what it is. In other words, it is monetary value that seems to be the primary marker we use to value things. However, monetary value and intrinsic value are entirely different. Monetary value is myopic, and only sees those things that respond primarily to economic criteria.

    The intrinsic value of music and the arts generally, will always be present in the minds of the people like you and me who produce it and appreciate its greater value – despite the falsifying effects of its perceived importance in economic terms.

    So in answer to your question – no, I do not think music will become extinct, because the intrinsic value of it is extremely high. Music is an essential part of our lives, and it is the arts that make us feel alive and connected to a kind of ‘otherness’ in the world.
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    Feb 16 2012: through art, people can truly express themselves. I think that even though it seems like its on the decline, it will always be present. especially when there are artists like you and I that keep it alive
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    Feb 16 2012: Hi Mandy
    Thanks for your topic. Don't worry. Even though we are experiencing a hard time because of the push to raise up the sciences, the failures of such an approach are obvious to many people, not only artists such as yourself.
    Right now, you need to focus on your own creativity. Don't be afraid of the future. Just help create a more beautiful one.
  • Feb 16 2012: Being human is necessarily being creative. We have an educational system that progressively tries to push out the creative at the expense of the didactic. I am a headteacher and have to preside over this focused, test-driven stuff that just snuffs out creativity. It is hard to let children grow into creative beings, but it can be done. Artists and musicians will always flourish, but how much of our society gets the benefit of that is up to the educators, pastors (in the widest sense - those giving pastoral care to people), parents, who learn to value and give space to children to dream and know that being an artist or musician is both worthwhile and honoured.
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    Feb 16 2012: Im not very artistic myself. But sometimes I enjoy some forms of art, and sometimes I love other formas of art.
    I realized that as not a creator but as an audience of art, my tastes and moods should never infringe the creation or exploration of art.

    I way not understand or appreciate all form of art, but I do understand that different forms of art are not isolated islands but instead interconnected and evolves together. It sparks the imagination and wonder which in turn engages people like me to try and bring the same imagination and wonder to our own lifes and professions.

    For me the discussion is summerized by a quote from a TV-show.

    "There is a connection between the progress of a society and the progress in the arts.
    The age of Perikles was also the age of Fidius.
    The age of Lorezo dé Medici was also the age of Leonardo da Vinci,
    and the age of Elizabeth was the age of Shakespeare."
    -Toby Ziegler.
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    Feb 22 2012: I think part of creativity is to apply the "known" and if an artist has little to no knowledge of the sciences... that will prevent them from being an artist in/of the future.

    Check out transhumanism in art.

    All the great subjects; art, music, math, philosophy - should be apart of a child's curriculum... Creativity without academics is going to produce nothing original.
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    Feb 21 2012: Talking about "struggling with the state of affairs...: How is it as an musician in Istanbul?
    Besides their musical practices and inspirations, we also talked Nu Park about their future aims, their approach to the city that they live and work.
    http://www.2010lab.tv/en/blog/innovative-and-multi-genre-band-nu-park-part-2

    Is the state of affairs everywhere really the same?
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    Feb 17 2012: I hear you Mandy, I've been struggling with this state of affairs for a majority of my life. From the "get a real job' phrase to the lack of resources for arts programs. Though many enjoy to do and see and hear these wonderful human expressions we can be at fault of not valuing and nurturing. I have worked for many years teaching art to offenders. Art has informed me, saved me, grown me as well as others including yourself, I read. And all along i have had to work hard and secure funding to make possible such opportunities. So few champions it seems.
    I have been reading ' Sex Genes and Rock ' n Roll by Rob Brooks. (you might like if you havent already) and it is kind of cute to imagine ourselves using music before we developed language. Like some beautiful bird song. Music, it is suggested, developed to attract sexual partners. Rock stars are likely to have more opportunity to pass their genes on. (no arguing against that) Indeed, though art has been unkind to me financially, i cant help but believe its also sexy. Perhaps therein lies the problem. Maybe we dont like teaching things that are too sexy?
    Of course community art and dance and music have been central to nearly all cultures. In reality it is our universal meeting ground. One large world orgy if you like.
    I'm sure there's something in it. I'm sure there's some fear. Institutions have always known the power of art. The religions hijacked so much of it throughout the ages. (Turned out some fine examples no doubt) Sorry I'm getting off track. Hmmm. Lets not worry too much though Mandy. Music, art dance will always be around. It finds it way up through the cracks in people like you and me. Just a shame we dont water it enough. see ya.
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      Feb 20 2012: I'm currently Majoring Art and Minoring Psychology. My intention is to one day teach these subjects, but it is in Art that I am home. I adore music equally, as well. It's funny how many people tell people like you and I to "get a 'real' job". I come from a family of Math and Science Majors, and I am am the black sheep amongst them. They don't understand my dedication to the liberal arts, they often critisize me and tell me that with my career choice, I will get no where. How I can I teach someone what Red looks like, when they are color blind? I keep trucking on, and fiercely support my stance. I can only hope that Art and Music, which has touched so many souls (mine included), sticks around in schools. It is our saving grace. Thanks for you comment, very much appreciated:]
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    Feb 15 2012: People have expressed themselves, their stories, and their ideas through art and music for thousands of years- even before there were schools as we think of them today. These forms of expression, like speaking, are so connected to human nature that they are extremeley unlikely to fade away into the sunset.I don't believe there has been a reduction in my lifetime in the amount of required coursework in the arts for passing forward from middle school and graduating high school. I have read only this morning that art schools are bursting at the seams- much larger in enrollment than decades ago. I do agree that participation in after-school sports seems much more common now than in my youth in the United States.