Growing up in the hood surrounded by a lot of poverty, music was one of the only things that made people feel good. That's why we need music and arts. We've got to put instruments in young people's hands because that's the kind of thing that really touches the soul.
To show the power of music and its ability to transcend all cultures and ages, I bring you "Crash Chorus," a series where, along with a famous musician or artist, we crash a random location, and allow strangers to rewrite the lyrics of one of their most popular songs.
Mary Ruth McGinn's class at Stedwick Elementary School in suburban Maryland has an intriguing second name and unique purpose: they've have formed an in-house troupe called the Fire Starters Kids Opera Company.
Just one block away on Trumbull stands an all too typical boarded up, burned out example of Detroit's abandonment and decay. But walk a few more steps and you'll find a building of the same vintage, transformed into a beautiful, living testimony to the arts.
As third grade teachers, for many years we have taken our students to the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in a wooded setting at the top of Topanga Canyon. Luckily, everyone in Los Angeles can experience what we have witnessed year after year.
Right now, a specially-commissioned play is touring schools in 12 Ohio counties, bringing theatre to kids so that they don't have to leave school, ride a bus and miss out on mandated teaching programs.
Since last week, Paul's next play has been announced at Signature Theatre in Arlington; Santino opened to positive reviews in Cinderella; Kinky Boots has had a bravura first few performances, and the theatre world keeps turning.
Online learning is increasing in most educational sectors, including creative self-enrichment. You can now learn photography, painting, drawing, writing, and knitting online. And then there is the twist that more and more classes are adding: empowerment through creativity.
We've come a long way from those days in the church parking lot. A decade later my colleagues, students and I are thrilled to officially unveil a 10-minute documentary that chronicles the evolution of the Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy.
The museum thrives, I think, because of that long embedded public mission. When I visited it recently, I was struck all over again by the immediacy and urgency of providing "benefit to all the people." How, I wondered, is the mission met, today?
If you ever had any doubts about the incredible young talent in America today, just check out the next generation of visual, literary and performing artists who have been recognized by YoungArts, the national organization devoted to mentoring and supporting emerging artists.
A significant number of young people today, when they enter the workforce, will never have been exposed to the valuable skills that come with arts education and specifically the theater experience. This is a missed opportunity.
Systematic pursuit of children's wellbeing and happiness in secure environments takes precedence over measured academic achievements in Finnish schools, according to Pasi Sahlberg, author of the award-winning book, Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?
This year there are moments when I'm lost and miserable and struggling with what it means to be an inner-city teacher. For the first time I'd started to wonder if I can go on teaching in the school I love but which is struggling against immense forces it can't control. Had I lost my calling?
When my son was in the fourth grade, his class did a short version of Romeo and Juliet. I don't know why that play was decided on for the fourth grade, but I believe his teacher was a romantic and liked the idea of little kids acting out this play of love and glory.
It's easy and tempting to blame teachers or unions or professors for the problems in education, but the reality is that here -- as in the political institutions about which we so passionately complain -- we get what we deserve, or rather, we get the natural result of the choices we make.