Monthly Archives: August 2013

Technology may pave new path to music education

Spotify, a popular music smartphone app, and New York City Department of Arts Education has partnered up to host a weekend-long hackathon to create new apps that will solve the problems music teachers face in face of depleting budgets.  This part of the Innovate NYC Schools initiative by the DOE to bring technology into schools.  While an app can never replace teachers, it is the hope that a good app may help teachers engage differently and more efficiently.  While it is not expected that a classroom-ready app will immediately emerge from the weekend event, it is the hope that eventually, technology will enable more schools to bring musics to students.  

To find out more about this event, check out this blog post by Spotify.

How do you think technology will continue to change how we bring arts to students?  

Arts program brings real-life experience to high school students

Susquehanna Township School District’s School of the Arts in Pennsylvania is wrapping up its first year, and so far the results have been positive.  The cross-training program provides students with real-world training, including subjects like fashion design.  All at the same time helping students find their niche.  Programs such as these are best for students who may have trouble finding their passion within the structure of a traditional school program.  The school currently serves 34 students, but looking to expand to 60 students.

While not all students can benefit from going to a school specializes in arts, all students deserve the opportunity to find their way to express themselves through art.  Arts to Grow looks to bridge the gap that school programs leave behind in traditional schools.  Join our mission!

Museum brings arts to students, and vice versa

Viki Thompson-Wylder’s of the FSU Museum of Fine Arts (MOFA) in Tallahassee started with bringing arts to local schools – a collaboration that began back in 1999.

Thompson-Wylder has worked with numerous students throughout the years.  Her formula has helped many students find a way to express their ideas artistically, often with no arts background whatsoever.  “I usually start with asking them to tell me everything they see. I ask them to tell me what is the most predominant element and why they think the artist was most interested in that element,” she says. “This gives them a context for a message to begin to materialize. They might not like it but I feel like they’ll realize that there is some purpose for creating the artwork like that.”

“The arts bring disparate things together. They help prepare your mind for alternate solutions, thinking about things from every angle. This world needs that kind of thinking,” she says. “Art is the way to prepare your mind to do that. So when I see people really interacting with the art, thinking in ways that they haven’t thought about things before, that’s the really rewarding part to me.”

The students also get to tour the museum and learn about the various pieces on display.  At the same time, they are creating arts to be displayed at the museum.  In fact, Thompson-Wylder has bought one of the student’s creations – for $20.  Who knows?  Maybe one day that student will be a famous sculptor and that would have been the first piece he ever sold.

Glacier Hills Elementary School in Minneapolis takes hands on learning to a new level

In September, the science magnet school will open a new laboratory that combines the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The “STEAM room” will allow students to create objects using new tools, such as a 3-D printer and laser etcher, when exploring scientific concepts.

This STEAM room really shows how arts and sciences cannot be divorced.  In today’s technologically advanced society, arts provides the tool to conquer sciences.  Congrats to Glacier Hills for providing the students with such progressive tools!