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Arts Education Discussion features Jason Vieaux & Nathan Cole

arts education discussionAmericans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Once a year they put together National Arts Advocacy Day, which brings together thousands of people to advocate for arts and education in front of Congress.

This year's National Arts Advocacy Day took place on April 8-9 and featured a lecture from Yo-Yo Ma on Arts & Public Policy. The following morning Ma was joined by a panel of arts advocates that included ArtistWorks instructors Jason Vieaux (classical guitar lessons) and Nathan Cole (violin lessons); as well as Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, former dancer Damian Woetzel, and author Lisa Phillips. The event streamed live on Google + this morning and was moderated by Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

The group took questions sent in from Twitter about arts education and discussed the importance of teaching the arts in schools.

Jason Vieaux used his experience teaching online guitar lessons at ArtistWorks to address the importance of art education in schools, not just for the sake of those who excel in the arts, but for the benefits of learning music for one's own personal development.

"I think there's a misconception out there… that public and federal funding for the arts, that arts education in schools, [is about] trying to fund something for a very small percentage of people who may excel in the arts, which of course is not the point. 

What [art education] does, better perhaps than anything else, is train self discipline, responsibility, accountability to others (especially when playing chamber music), and it develops tremendous social skills as well.  All these things create a more fully functioning member of society and a successful professional in the workforce.

A lot of [my classical guitar students] are getting the personal fulfillment of achieving, working with me on helping them play a piece of music all the way through, and it's giving them that sense of self worth in a way that not a lot of things can do." - Jason Vieaux

Nathan Cole spoke about his own experience going from listening to Yo-Yo Ma growing up, who he considers a "far away mentor", to advancing on violin and to playing on stage with him as a fellow peer in the orchestra.

"It was just a dream come true… but that wouldn't have happened without the people in my schools who would say 'hey here's this tape, here's this record of  Yo-Yo Ma, you've got to hear this because it would interest you.'

And so it was the mentors from afar, but also the mentors right there with me, I think those were essential. Now I have the chance with ArtistWorks to hopefully be that mentor for people." - Nathan Cole

Click here to read a transcript of Yo-Yo Ma's Lecture delivered before Congress and watch the full Google Hangout discussion below.

 

 

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