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Creativity is Education

Updated: Aug 8

Published in August

The Cumberland 411

There is art and music and drama and performance in everything…yes, in everything.

In a rainstorm, a bright sunny day, a clear starry night.

In a hurricane, a tornado, a wild winter blizzard.

In life. In death.

In a field of flowers. In a trash can filled with garbage.

In mathematics, in science, in history and in literature.

It is how we learn about the past, and how we create the future.


William Shakespeare said "The music is all around you. All you have to do is listen."

Listen, Look and Hear.

The creative arts are the missing link in education.


Somewhere along the artful way creativity was degraded by good intentions into almost complete nonexistence in our educational curriculum.


Memorization and testing are useless in my opinion because they are not related to any creative action…


"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." ~ Confucius


The creative arts are essential elements in education, in learning, in developing, in maturing.

It is possible to include the creative arts in the core subjects of education.

It is possible to build a community of lifelong learners.

Students will become teachers and teachers will become students.


This monthly column will be devoted to sharing examples on how to include the creative arts in all core subjects in education because it is so important and because every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet and we should listen to them, learn from them, and tread softly because they are the future.


Column by Joanne Vecchio

Creativity is Education

Updated: September 8

Published in September

The Cumberland 411

Creativity is Education

Coming in October

As the founder and artistic director of Second Stage Studio, I taught Voice, Theater, and Performance. My teaching technique is based on my vocal education of seven years, involvement in the Arts Literacy Project, a five-year partnership between Brown University and the City of Central Falls, and from the writings of John Maeda. Maeda was the former President of RI School of Design, who headed the STEM to STEAM campaign to gain federal support for incorporating A for "Art" into STEM, with creativity and design being integral to education and innovative thinking."

Second Stage Studio housed a Vocal Studio, Black Box Theatre, Art Gallery, Recording Studio, and the Angell Café.



Enrichment? Yes. Education in the Core Subjects? How?


Let us look at Voice Lesson Class for grades K-12:

A typical private voice lesson would teach a student how to breathe, extend vocal range, find their own sound instead of imitating others, and properly care for their "instrument."

Add basic music theory by including what I call a musical road map to each piece of music taught.


Add the core academic subjects of English, reading, writing, foreign languages, and history to the lesson by choosing repertoire geared to the age group and the curriculum. For example, a classical piece, a folk song, a song related to history, a Broadway song, a jazz piece, and a song chosen by the student. Singing is technique, emotion, drama, and performance. Unless the student understands what they are singing by studying the origin, timeframe, author, and meaning of the song, it is impossible to relate to the lyrics and personally reflect upon their purpose and then translate all of that plus technique into a performance.

Example: When teaching the song "All My Trials" to an eleven-year-old, he asked, " Why would anyone be happier dead?" The answer was an age-appropriate video on The North Atlantic Slave Trade, which we watched and discussed at great length. After learning the song's history, he approached the music with more empathetic emotion because of a better understanding of the reason it was written.


The class would end in student performances. Each student would choose from their repertoire and plan their musical story.

The class then would reflect on each student's performance.

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand."

All music has meaning, has a history, and a story to tell, and each person performing it adds another perspective, another purpose, in a new time, in a new place.


Plato was right when he said that music gives “wings to the mind.”


Joanne Vecchio

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