Thursday, November 12, 2009

Arts Education At BHS Is Preparing Our Students For Success! (Example 1)

Josh Rosenberg works on a composition in Music Theory.

Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mind has reminded us about the importance of teaching our students critical and creative thinking skills. He tells us clearly with vivid examples why "right-brainers will inherit the future." Our schools need to focus more on lessons that promote critical thinking and creativity and less on the lower-level thinking that is encouraged when we over-emphasize state tests that do not measure critical thinking or creativity. From talking to business leaders, Pink surmised that a Master's in Fine Arts is more valuable than a Master's in Business Administration because of the fact that companies are looking for individuals who can think outside the box and put a fresh spin on ideas and products that have become stale.

Because of this it is clear that despite tough economic times, schools should think long and hard before cutting or scaling back on arts programs that give our students some of their best opportunities to stregthen the right side of their brains. One clear example of this at BHS is our Music Theory class where Mr. Lovell continually challenges his students with opportunities to think both critically and creatively.

If you don't believe me then read the account below from sophomore Josh Rosenberg and decide for yourself. Following Josh's description click on the link to his musical piece and you will be even more impressed by what happens on a daily basis in Mr. Lovell's Music Theory class.

This assignment was a rhythmical ostinato. An ostinato is a musical phrase that repeats itself throughout a song. Our assignment was to make a rhythm out of our name. My name is Joshua Isaac Rosenberg. I found a rhythm that my name fit into and I liked. I made the piece starting out with instruments switching off with the phrase. In a couple of days it all came together into this piece.

I had a very hard time finding a title for this piece. I listened to it many times and nothing jumped out at me. After a while I thought of “Learning To Ride My Bike.” After a few days, the name just came to me. It reminded me of the struggle kids have as they start peddling. After a while, they get the hang of it and start riding as the piece builds up. After passing a few houses the kid starts to fall (as the round begins a new part of the piece). Starting to peddle again, the kid goes for his first bike ride.

Here is a link to Learning To Ride My Bike by Josh Rosenberg. BHS Music Theory students use Sibelius to create their compositions.

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