Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Power of the Arts

by Yvonne Yates
Director of School Services, KLRN

When I was four years old, my mother introduced me to the music of the Nutcracker Ballet composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Mesmerized by the wonderful music, from that moment on I wanted only to listen to the beautiful music. A few years later, I was taken to a musical play and again I was entranced. My parents knew that I was the artsy child of their four children and I needed a heavy dose of the arts in my life. Dance classes, museum visits, auditions for plays, and countless theater-going experiences turned a shy little girl into someone who loved the stage. Who knew that years later my favorite stage would be my classroom?

I was the teacher who did voices for every character and would search for music to help with climactic moments in the story. Read-Aloud time was my students’ favorite time of day. I got to act for the most gracious of audiences and they were entertained for a few minutes by the teacher who was all math and reading the whole morning long. It was a win-win for both.

The older our students become, the less we bring music, art, and drama into our lessons. According to a recent study, involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Then why is it that Art programs are being taken out of many schools in our nation? Teachers hope that the Arts teachers or someone in the community will take on the cultural enrichment of our students as we are much too busy teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. Is it only the job of the rotation teachers in elementary and the arts teachers in middle in high school to show our students the wonder of music, art, and drama? We worry so much about our students learning what is tested that we forget that we want to have students who are well rounded and ready to take in the world through their own point of view. I challenge you to try to incorporate one of the arts into your lessons at least once a week. You will see your students want to learn with more enthusiasm as they see the world from your cultural point of view and as they develop their own. Write and tell us about how you incorporate art, music, and drama into your everyday lessons.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

KLRN Welcomes Rick Casey, Launches TEXAS WEEK

KLRN is proud to provide a (not-so)new home to Rick Casey, in a program launching on January 21...TEXAS WEEK with RICK CASEY. Rick's experience as a journalist, his point-of-view, his insight, and his Irish wit will make this weekly local news and issues program one not to be missed. With contributions and editorial from Texas Tribune's Evan Smith, discussions with local experts, and a "final word from Rick", this program will bring to San Antonio (and South Central Texas) something new, something exciting, and something informative. Welcome Rick! We're glad to have you. Look for TEXAS WEEK with RICK CASEY on Friday nights at 8:30 pm.