15 Sep Why ArtSmart?
Since I started my career as a professional opera singer, I’ve always been in awe of the power that music has on people and how it can move many to a greater sense of well being and happiness. I sing because I know that music is a vehicle to transport people from bad moments to good ones. I sing because I know deep in me that music is of the greatest unifiers there are. So I naturally pondered during the 10 years of my professional career…why is singing and by extension, music, not exalted more in our schools. If music is a means to create literal social uplift, how come it is not employed as an anchor of the educative process? Would those in the Department of Education contend that mathematics, English, science, and social studies have the same intrinsic and etherial power to uplift people as music? I acknowledge that those subjects are an essential element of a child’s learning curve, for balance, for brain stimulation, and for skill building. But music, a pathway that literally is catharsis, therapy, aid, and help for many, why is it too, not a bedrock in all of our schools?
I have asked my many colleagues, friends, fans, and students this simple question…can you imagine a world without music, any and all of it? the jingles on your phone, the music in the elevator, the musicians playing in the subway, the music on tv commercials, and the playlists we have on our devices? One full day, no music at all. The answer uniformly is NO. Music is part of our consciousness and subconscious. It is a language that has no barriers and no difficulty to understand. It is normative and it is essential. And since it is essential, I feel the overwhelming obligation to ensure that music become, once again, a bedrock of the core learning curve of Americans.
ArtSmart’s core mission is to provide FREE one-on-one music lessons every week to children that lack consistent access. We do this by linking mentors with a background in music and education to teens that do not currently study music privately in any large measure, or at all. Today, while there are many organizations that beautifully organize group music classes and ensembles, especially in economically challenged areas in our nation, rarely do private one-on-one lessons figure into the picture. We have found through extensive research that the mentor-student relationship, if cultivated religiously and consistently, has the power to create exponential change in a child or teen’s trajectory in school and out of school. ArtSmart is committed to fostering an environment that builds relationships between teens and mentors through the medium of musical training, with clearly defined goals, and effectuated through a well crafted curriculum. At our inception, we will focus on the vocal end of one-on-one musical training and progressively target all the areas of music education that require attention.
We also see that today alone in the United States, thousands upon thousands of musicians graduate each year from universities, often leaving beleaguered with heavy debts, and have difficulty entering the artistic workforce, even part time. The core of our platform is the race to make art and music a backbone of education. But we also see a ying/yang where more esteemed professionals, often graduates from universities, need the exposure and opportunity to explore, teach, and perform. At ArtSmart, we are beyond excited to start employing talented professionals who deserve a shot at exploring their talents as mentors and performers and getting credible value from their hard work.
ArtSmart will give a platform to the need for music in schools and a pathway for wonderfully talented professionals to expand and monetize their careers as musicians. We know that music is transformational and that it is a rock which is so essential in all of our lives. We will show that it plays a wildly more essential role in the development of our youth and we can’t wait to continue to share it more and more with you all.