Focus on STEM overshadows importance of Music Education:
Ten Lessons the Arts
by Elliot Eisner, Stanford University
The arts teach children to make good judgments
about qualitative relationships.
Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct
answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that
The arts teach children that problems can have
more than one solution
and that questions can have more than one
The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
One of the large lessons is that there are many
ways to see and interpret the world.
The arts teach children that in complex forms of
problem solving purposes are seldom fixed,
but change with circumstance and opportunity.
Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the
unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
The arts make vivid the fact that neither words
in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know.
The limits of our language do not define the
limits of our cognition.
The arts teach students that small differences
can have large effects.
The arts traffic in subtleties.
The arts teach students to think through and
within a material.
All art forms employ some means through which
images become real.
The arts help children learn to say what cannot
When children are invited to disclose what a
work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to
find the words that will do the job.
The arts enable us to have experience we can
have from no other source
and through such experience to discover the
range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
The arts’ position in the school curriculum
symbolizes to the young
what adults believe is important.
Source: Learning and the Arts: Crossing
Proceedings from an invitational meeting for education, arts and youth funders
held January 12-14, 2000, Los Angeles.
Organized by Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, J. Paul Getty Trust, and The John
D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's full score is a
which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony
and with the most exact control of time.
rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be
not worked out on paper.
IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
the terms are in ltalian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not
-- but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent
The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.
usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the
and/or ethnic feeling.
IS PHYSICAL EDUCATION
requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial
addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back, abdominal and chest
which respond instantly to the sound to ear hears and the mind interprets.
IS ALL THESE THINGS, BUT MOST OF ALL, MUSIC IS ART
allows a human being to take these dry, technically difficult techniques and
create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling,
call it what you will.