“Same old; same old boring stuff.” How many parents hear this line from their kids, in spite of cheerfully asking how their day was? Something must have happened somewhere between kids skipping to school in kindergarten and the drudgery in their steps when they hit middle school.
This is the same thing thespian and mentor Audie Gemora noticed in many of the children he had mentored in Trumpets and mostly, in his son Richard. “For years, education followed a rigid, unchanging pattern. School has become something mundane and uninspiring. Children go to school simply because they have to and, while there, they are subjected to endless classroom drills. Math and science are reduced to steps and procedures, language to long lists of hard-to-pronounce spelling words, history to key dates, geography to national or provincial capitals. It was all so simple but very monotonous, academically rigid yet measures merely memory rather than understanding,” he says. “In my view a good academic institution is one that recognizes every child's uniqueness and is able to develop him according to his specific intelligences and talents.”
Audie shares how his son has attended two different schools that focus on academics. “Left brain development. I feel his many other talents and interests are not being developed nor tapped. I want to afford my own son an education that he will value, one that will maximize his full potential rather than get him to aim for high grades.”
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His sentiment was apparently not unique. Knowing him as an experienced developer and mentor of talented kids, his fellow-parents in Richard’s school approached him and asked about the possibility of forming a more balanced program for kids. “The vision was to put up a progressive school that would be considerate of every child's uniqueness. They asked if I could set up an arts program to augment the regular curriculum. I immediately recognized that this was the solution to the dichotomy of academics and arts! What we came up with is a school that will provide progressive academic education, paralleled by a progressive arts program and in between our flagship, arts integration. Arts integration uses the arts to aid in the teaching of regular subjects.”