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Music Schools BC

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The official blog of the British Columbia Association of Community Music Schools

Monday, June 29, 2009

Key Note address from Vancouver Arts Summit

I attended the Vancouver Arts Summit last week (June 25 and 26) hosted by the Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture and 2010 Legacies Now. The keynote speaker for the event was Diane Ragsdale, associate program officer for the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.

Her address was titled "Surviving the Culture Change" Her ideas from the speech became central themes that manifested themselves over the two day summit, and I highly recommend everyone to have a look through it. In her brief she exams some reasons for the cultural shifts taking place with respect to audiences, and how many traditional arts groups are victims of seeing what they look for, or "bending the map" and becoming lost when traditional methodologies fail to work as our demographics and audiences change around us.

You can download the text of the address here from the Arts Alliance website.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

news from place des arts

Evening Concert with Joe Trio
July 11, 2009 @ 7PM
Carré Heritage Square
1120 Brunette Avenue
Coquitlam, BC

To mark the 100th Anniversary of Maillardville, this year's Fair in the Square includes a special evening concert featuring renowned classically trained violin-cello-piano threesome, Joe Trio.

Not your average piano trio, Joe Trio is not neatly categorized, but instead strives for diversity, versatility and more than a little humour and unpredictability. Their repertoire consists of the classics, new works by contemporary composers and their own arrangements of popular, jazz and rock tunes.

Joe Trio features Allen Stiles on piano, Cameron Wilson on violin and Charles Inkman on cello.

The gate opens at 7:00 PM, allowing time to purchase a glass of wine or to enjoy the serene gardens of Heritage Square before the concert begins at 7:30 PM.

Tickets are $20, and are on sale now. They may be purchased in person at Place des Arts, by calling 604.664.1636 or at the gate.

For more info check out the "Fair in the Square" website


Brain Scientists Identify Close Links between Arts, Learning

By Ben Mauk
About Ben Mauk
May 14, 2009

Music training in childhood improves cognitive abilities, according to research presented May 6 at Johns Hopkins University’s “Learning, Arts, and the Brain” summit in Baltimore. The work presents the most significant evidence yet that arts education can improve learning.

A recent study found that children who receive music instruction for just 15 months show strengthened connections in musically relevant brain areas and perform better on associated tasks, compared with students who do not learn an instrument.

The result echoes those of other researchers who are tightening the links between the arts and cognition. Another study presented at the summit found that children who receive training to improve their focus and attention perform better not only on attention tasks but also on intelligence tests. Arts training might similarly affect a wide range of cognitive domains, say researchers.

“It’d be difficult to find another activity [besides music training] that takes up so much real estate in the brain,” said Gottfried Schlaug, a professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and co-author of the music instruction study.

“Already the initial data we have show profound changes,” he said.

Educators and neuroscientists gathered recently at the Hopkins summit in Baltimore and the subsequent “Learning and the Brain” conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss the increasingly detailed picture of how arts education changes the brain, and how to translate that research to education policy and the classroom

From the Dana Fondation: Read the article here


Jerome Kagan on Why the Arts Matter: Six Good Reasons for Advocating the Importance of Arts in School

From the Dana Foundation website:

Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., of Harvard University, spoke about the importance of arts education in elementary schools during the Learning, Arts, and the Brain conference at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore on May 6, 2009. These are his prepared remarks

"It is a rare roll of the dice that places me as luncheon speaker at a conference on arts education. You have to know that for four long years, from the first to the fourth grade, I lived with the dread of the hour after lunch when everyday, Monday to Friday, our class had art and I sat with two or three children, often girls, who were far more talented and concealed my imperfect drawings while waiting desperately for the painful hour to end. Here I am 70 years later advocating the importance of the arts in the elementary school years. However, the intervening years have taught me at least six good reasons for advocating art in the schools that are easy to articulate. But, as with most other interventions, the power of some of the reasons depends on the social class of the child’s family."

Read the entire article here


Monday, June 22, 2009

Vancouver Arts Summit

Vancouver Arts Alliance is hosting an Arts Summer later this week on June 25 and June 26. at the Vancouver Public Library. Here is some info about it from their website:
Vancouver Arts Summit
Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26, 2009 at the Vancouver Public Library, Lower Concourse

Presented by 2010 Legacies Now in partnership with the Alliance for Arts and Culture
Note: Registration for the summit is now full. Our sympathies to all those who were not able to register in time.
Many arts organizations, like other not-for-profits, are facing a new reality of operating in a changing world - a new economy, new technologies, changing demographics and changing values.
This event is in response to those changes. We invite members from the arts and culture sector to come together to strengthen the foundations, connections, knowledge and expertise of those working in Metro Vancouver.
The Vancouver Arts Summit will offer a platform for dialogue, professional development and networking opportunities to a diverse group of individual artists, arts administrators, arts organizations, presenters, facility managers, students, businesses and government representatives.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

BCACMS conference

It's that time of the year again... Time for us all to get together for our annual conference and AGM of the BC Association of Community Music Schools this weekend. The event is hosted this year by the Kelowna Conservatory of Music. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and reporting back about the conference. Member schools can check the members area of our website for information about this weekend and what is being discussed.


Summer Music Camps Vs. Summer School

At Delta Community Music School we are gearing up for our 6th annual South Delta Jazz Festival and Workshop. From July 7 - 11th we will hosting the Jazz Workshop where students of all ages can come and learn about Jazz improv and perform in small ensembles.

A trend that I have noticed this year and last year is the growing number of potential students who are not able to come to our program because they are taking summer school classes; i.e. continuing their high school academic studies into July and August. After speaking with various colleages it seems enrollment in summer programs throughout the province seems to be down this summer. As an example Comox Valley Summer Music Camp in Courtney BC , a program that has run successfully for many years, has canceled its Pacific Jazz Workshop this year due to a lack of enrollment.

I would be interested in hearing from others for their opinions of why enrollments are down for these sorts of summer programs. From my own experience with my private students I would say that many of the students I know that I have been trying to encourage to come to our Jazz Workshop are not able to come. The overwhelming reason is they are all taking summer school high school courses to "get ahead" or "get a better mark" and to "be ready for University." Some of these students are only in Grade 7 and 8. It seems many Metro Vancouver parents believe their kids should be in school 12 months of the year, with little time for much else. I am wondeirng if this is unique to metro Vancouver, or whether this trend is taking off elsewhere around the province as well?