music, technology & life in pasadena, california

Mai Tai Thoughts

All work and no play make Paul a dull boy.
- ancient wive’s proverb

Child who sleep on plane make good traveling companion.
- ancient Chinese proverb

One Mai Tai is not enough, two is too many, three is not enough…
- ancient Hawaiian proverb

Green witch receding from memory, almost gone…
- ancient pit musician’s proverb

October 29, 2007 | Link to this entry

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

With music and art programs under siege at so many public and private schools, parents should be gravely concerned about missing this important element in a well-rounded education. Sometimes it’s funding that’s short. Sometimes it’s an intentional move to force kids to concentrate on the basics, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the arts and the 3 R’s feed off each other and build an important cornerstone in every young mind. When schools (and parents) focus on test results from programs such as No Child Left Behind (and you would be shocked to learn of the extremely low benchmarks these programs set for children!) and neglect their creativity, it’s a very sad disservice that anyone in education should be ashamed of.

Many parents pay lip service to the importance of creativity in their children’s lives, but start getting worried if the child takes a huge interest in music, art, dance or other fulfilling outlets. What if they actually become a musician or artist? What kind of life can that lead to? How will they make money to support themselves? I know many people who were very creative early in their lives and were steered clear of a life in the arts by worried parents. Forced to abandon what they loved and study engineering or medicine, they’ve grown up disaffected and isolated from the one thing that really mattered to them.

This video, from the TED conference, features Sir Ken Robinson, who, in a brilliant and funny twenty-minute video, talks about creativity, schools and what we can do to help guide our kids to a fulfilling and creative life.

Much thanks to fellow musician Jeff Driskill for turning me on to this video!

October 2, 2007 | Link to this entry


Paul Viapiano is a guitarist working in film, television and live performance based in sunny Pasadena, California.

You can email me here.

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