Beyond Healing: The Redemptive Power of Music & Art



Just got back from taking Nanny (my M.I.L.) to the airport, and was listening to one of my favorite shows on NPR; Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. http://www.whyy.org/91FM/radiotimes.html

Today’s second segment was a repeat of an earlier broadcast of her interview with Steve Lopez, “The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music.” “The Soloist” is the featured title of One Book, One Philadelphia. You can go to NPR to hear the interview yourself, but the last thing that I caught before I turned my car off was Steve Lopez commented that the first thing people ask him about Mr. Ayers is “is he taking his meds now?” It is much more complicated than that, for Mr. Ayers the treatments he was given took away his creativity and medication=control. Mr. Lopez said is that “Music is his Medication,” ( for Mr. Ayers,who has been battling mental illness for years.)

I know first hand the redemptive power of art, not only from my cancer and the work that has come from the experience, but early on as well. Art is how I process my experiences, it gives me a filter in which to view my life, and then create. My passion for art fuels my passion for Art in the Schools. I know first hand out it redeems students from all walks of life, with all kinds of abilities, and with all kinds of life situations. The March/April 2009 issue of Delaware Beach Life features a great article on the value of learning through the arts as demonstrated by schools on Delaware’s coast. The arts empower students, they are excited to learn, that are engaged and self confident. Kudos for President Obama for including funding for the arts in his new stimulus plan.

I have very recently connected with Aileen McCulloch, Executive Direction of Young Audience of Eastern Pennsylvania http://www.yaep.org/ and am excited to work with the schools around here. Above is some student work from a great residency I had at David K. Brearley H.S. in Kenilworth, NJ last year working with the fabulous art teacher, Janice Marsili. This project went on to win a Best Practices Award in Jersey. But what I really loved was the connections I made with the kids. I could go on and on but need to get some photos to Aileen of YAEP.

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