Education dollars at work

            Remember Mr. Holland and his opus?  It’s a pretty schmaltzy movie, but the place it gets real is when the principal informs Richard Dreyfuss that the school is cutting the arts programs because they need the money for fundamentals like long division.  Mr. Holland gets all Mr. Holland-y and tells the dude that “Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Gene. Sooner or later, these kids aren’t going to have anything to read or write about.”

            Now, I’m not much of a movie-crier, which makes attending movies with my husband rather embarrassing.  I think I’ve mentioned that the end of An Officer and A Gentleman makes him weep every single time…  But, those teacher movies often have their way with me, and Mr. Holland’s Opus is no exception.  I may not have outright shed tears in that final scene, but I definitely got a little choked up.

            J, of course, was sobbing.

            We need to fund arts education.  You want me to give you some reasons?  Sure, I’ll give you some reasons.  How about building self-esteem?  Bringing meaning into kids’ lives?  Providing an outlet for children who might not have the words or the therapist or whathaveyou to let out all the emotion that goes along with growing up?  Building music- and art- and theater-lovers for the next generation so that our world doesn’t become just a web of criss-crossed highways and rising temperatures? 

            Or, maybe I could just give you one reason:

            Yeah, I cried when I watched that one, too. 

            In case you need it, here is the link to their blog.

20 responses to “Education dollars at work

  1. I bet that Mr. B’s momma is a very proud lady. He’s something.

    Those kids are phenomenal. Speaking of choruses, I finally saw “Young at Heart,” about the elderly chorus – who I actually heard practicing on a beautiful spring day walking through downtown Northampton – and both Tony and I cried several times during it.

  2. oh honey. ditto to what you told me yesterday, and i can’t tell you how much i agree about this.

  3. I’m all for funding the arts. I’m sick of math and history!

  4. That gave me chills.

  5. Well, I just got a good cry in this morning.

  6. Oh my, who could look at those earnest little faces, singing and smiling, and NOT cry?

    Shame on all of us if we let the arts in schools go by the wayside.

  7. Lovely and I’m with you.

  8. Everything makes me cry. It’s sort of embarrassing. So I probably should have taken that as my cue to not watch the video. Now my baby’s looking at me all confused as I sob into his T-shirt.

  9. It’s very frustrating — the stock arguments against government funding for the arts (that there are so many other practical, necessary things that have to take priority) sound okay at first. But when you look at how many other ludicrous things the government spends money on, and when you consider the wide-ranging benefits of the arts (which unfortunately can’t be listed in a ledger), those arguments don’t hold up. They should all have to watch those children sing.

  10. i would have been totally lost if my school didn’t have strong programs in theater and writing. Thank goodness they did because I could totally lose myself in those two activities.
    Totally choked up with this video – thanks for sharing.

  11. I remember Mr. Holland’s Opus as being a really loooooooooooooong movie, where I dozed off twice and both times woke up shocked to find that it was still on! But its a good point… why would schools want to take out the beautiful parts of life, and teach kids to ignore the arts?

  12. The arts is the one place where we leave behind our selfish, self-centred little lives and think about things from other people’s point of view, from a perspective that’s bigger and wider than us. I shudder to think what disasters will befall the world if we price and sneer the arts out of existence. But hey, you would have guessed I’d have said that.

  13. oh, they all just look so much like the GET it.

    yes yes yes

    a thousand times yes

    we looked at a private school for MQ that had no art, no music, no drama. They said they didn’t have time in their SEVEN hour day to do that. That they could only do academics.

    I nearly flipped out.

    and of course, all sorts of studies show how the arts help children in ALL areas

    oh, i could go on

    but you’ve said it beautifully. And that video… even better.

  14. Nice video – thanks for posting it – I’d not heard of that chorus. They remind me of the kids in my school.

    Yes to arts education. Plain and simple. It works, it helps, it adds something, we need it. Teach a kid how to dance, and it helps focus the mind in other ways.

  15. I’m new to your blog and this post was so great. I hope that it’s all right, but I’m posting it to my own — with links to you, of course! I so look forward to reading more of your posts.

  16. I cried when I saw that whole piece on the news the other night. I’m all about the arts, and we’re holding ground around here, even though they threaten to get rid of all the programs come budget talks.

    If it weren’t for the arts, half of my friends, and my husband would have quit school!

    Oh, and my husband cries like a big ‘ole girl when he watches even slightly sad movies. I’m bad, but he’s a wreck!!!

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