Saturday, September 23, 2023

Oakdale band: 1st graders in an art museum


The Marching Bear Band from Oakdale High School in Ijamsville, Maryland, took the field for the halftime show at home football games this fall, telling the story in music and choreography of youngsters visiting an art museum for the first time, Riley Frutiger writes in The Oakdale Post student newspaper.

The show highlights what is perhaps a stereotype about the capacity of young people for appreciating art, as marchers act out a range of reactions, from excitement at the new experience to disinterest and apathy at what is not understood.

When it comes to the marching band itself, though, student-musicians find excitement in just putting their talents on display for an appreciative audience.

“Just being able to have that opportunity to be in front of people and to be able to really put yourself in such a state where you have to be yourself and just be open in front of so many people,” the paper quotes one sophomore as saying about the cause for this excitement.

But Ms Frutiger reports that the marching band’s product represents a collaboration among band and art teachers across the district. Its “harmony of the discipline of the high school members and disorganization of the first graders they’re portraying” extends beyond the excitement of performance and builds lifelong friendships and camaraderie among band members as the grow.

Of course, young children have the capacity not only to appreciate art but to create it as well.

“Young children can be drawn into the color and amazement of art works made by others, and can learn to appreciate art by well-known artist such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gough at a very young age,” writes Monica Thompson for the Michigan State University Extension. “Traditional art and sculptures often tell a story, while modern art provides an opportunity for kids to explore the basic elements of art: colors, lines and shapes.”

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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