Only @ Interlochen

It has been a while since I’ve posted on CV, but you knew that right?  Guess what?  I’m not apologizing.  No longer will I beat myself up for not being on the absolute cutting edge of contemporary music and education.  Know why?  Because here at Interlochen, I am LIVING IT!  I have been meaning to post at several times over the summer, but it has become pretty busy!

For those who don’t know, I am employed here as a dance accompanist playing hand drums (although in many different configurations) for the modern dance classes.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve done everything from play hand drums of all kinds, play for 9 yr. olds,  written a cello prelude, working on a 9 minute piece for ballet,  danced to a new piece for electric cello and electronic soundscape played live by a founding member of the Lilly Quartet, played with sticks on trees and other nature objects, and played recordings of incredibly contemporary music for an improvisation class (whew!).  Again, this is just me and dance in the first three weeks.  I’ve seen and heard other astounding art since I’ve been here, and the volume of artists young and old here is incredible.

So how does this affect how I think about CV?  Well, to be honest, not as much as you may think.  What I do see however, is that although this is a summer camp (they have an academy year-round that is smaller), and it is super focused, I see absolutely no reason why public school are so incomparable.  There’s the matter of money of course, and kids, and families, and parents, and meals, government funds, after school programs, and on and on, but remember thinking outside of the box is for those who wish to change the world.

I have my ideas, but what would you think about public school being centered around the arts as opposed to other activities?

What would you think about having a school where the academics and the arts are considered absolutely equal by the school system?

What would you think about a school whose arts were so beautiful and plentiful that donors were not guilt-tripped into supporting, but actually paid because they wanted the art services offered by driven young people?

Last question.  Do you think for one minute that if this were a mentality used by the political powers-that-be, that the world would be any worse off?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.




Filed under Music

5 responses to “Only @ Interlochen

  1. Parissa

    I wish there were public schools where academics and arts were equal. I would even settle for equality between academics and sports in some schools! There are art-centered magnet schools of course, but it’s not on a large scale. I think the problem at this point is that the arts education in lower-level schools is still considered a hobby or frivolous option; so, when budgets are slashed, especially in lower-class neighborhoods, the politicians cannot see the benefit of keeping something that does not apply in the “real world” in terms of jobs; although, I can think of several musicians that have many qualities I would want in an employee!

    • I agree that the magnet school system is kind of a joke. Usually “magnet school” is code for “low-income, low-hope school with public funds.” You also bring up another good point about the arts being a hobby. It is so difficult to change the perception about what the arts are, and that they are just as viable options for income as a business manager or accountant. I love the “real world” comparisons people make. I saw a video of Anderson Cooper reporting a story and mentioning how little (if any) algebra he remembered. He’s a millionare

  2. Good point about Anderson Cooper… now how come that idea didn’t work with me. I don’t remember any of my algebra either!

    On a more serious note, though, I think (once again) another reason for the problem is that we don’t support the arts enough in the first place. Perhaps the reason arts are considered to be extra curricular in primary and secondary schools because few people believe you can make a decent living in them… is that false? (ok, there are multiple answers to that one) As adults with “real world” jobs, let’s support the arts and artists in our communities and change this trend!

    • Absolutely. The problem is cyclic. Since there are so limited performing jobs, there are more teachers. Since there are more teachers because there are so few jobs, there are even fewer jobs. It definitely starts with supporting local art. It is at the core of all arts funding. If the arts were readily available and appreciated in your town, wouldn’t you think the culture of school systems would be the same?


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