The Three Artistic Processes: Paths to lifelong 21st century skills through music by Scott C. Shuler, MENC President

I chose this article because it was a different article than another group member had selected and we thought that we could share ideas from different articles and share information.

This article discussed the 3 artistic processes as an answer to a variety of teachers’ questions about why Music Education in important.  The answer that I felt related to me was the need to explain how studying music prepares students for lifelong success, regardless of career choice.  The author also discusses the 3 artistic processes as clarification for how student-centered music education helps children master 21st century skills necessary for future successes.

Shuler discusses the history of the 3 artistic process model and its usefulness as : comprehensive (content-wise), practical (as a natural process that allows for a natural transfer of learning and assessment), and authentic (allowing live-long student-centered music making that stretches beyond the music classroom).  Shuler also states that in order to give students the gift of lifelong music education that teachers must ensure that students assume the responsibility of making musical decisions (interpretation & creativity), self-assessment and diagnosis & improvement of their own work.  Shuler believes that Music Education has gained some ground since the revision of Bloom’s taxonomy, which puts “Create” on top.  When teachers empower their students to carryout the process, teachers are empowering higher order thinking.  Shuler also comments that some of the 21st century skills that can be gained through this process are  Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and that national music standards highlight creativity through improvisation, composition & interpretation.  Commenting that collaboration requires attributes such as empathy, willing acceptance of a contributing role & respectful participation and an understanding of when to offer ideas and when to listen to others ideas.

The 3 Artistic Processes are described as Creating, Performing, & Responding and the article includes a table that describes activities within each of these areas.  The table also includes verbs that relate to Bloom’s taxonomy.

Insights Gained?

I really feel that this article was relevant to our group’s question: How can we help students discover who they are and their connection to the world through the arts?   I find the connection because I felt the article directly discusses both artistic behaviors and collaboration in the music classroom.  One comment that the author made that really interested me was about how teacher-centered music making does not give students the tools to be musical beyond the music classroom.  That some enthusiastic high school band members and choristers never play or sing beyond graduation, or if they do they are then dependant upon community or other music directors to provide the direction.  Shuler suggests that student centered music education gives students the gift of lifelong music making.  I was particularly interested in the process that he suggests to encourage students to take responsibility for their music learning.  I think that in the classroom, I would definitely like to give students the opportunity to make music in such a way that will extend throughout their lives.

Questions Generated and/or Divergent Views?

Looking at the chart, I do see that it is applicable to classroom music, although it does seem that most of the article refers to the ensemble class.  I am really thinking about the comment that Shuler made about students needing the skills to direct themselves and their research and experiences in their lifelong music making!  I am also considering how I can manipulate the artistic process described  in my classroom.  I am interested in students: creating and developing ideas and concepts, interpreting and developing personal ideas about their creation, presenting work, and evaluating their work.  I really am not sure about what content I want to use yet, I still have lots of ideas swirling around 🙂