Urgent Community News Update

Music needs your help!

This just in! Polisi's view on musicians in America!

"I urge us today to begin to evaluate our artistic and educational program with a sense of urgency."

“Performing artists must no longer believe that their “work” stops at the end of a performance.”

"There are too many persons today who play musical instruments and plan to make a living from that activity."

"The events of the last ninety-three years have brought some of the century's great musicians to America's shores as performers and teachers. The traditions they have arrive with have been tempered and changed, providing a diverse and exceptionally high standard of music training in the United States today."

"This extraordinary development can only benefit the universal culture of music making and may - if the process continues - even help create a better understanding of the human spirit."

“The assumption that the arts are essential elements of our environment as human beings has been weakened by the extraordinary power of the media…and the general perception that the arts are only for a tiny portion of our population who have not been buffeted by the spiral of poverty, crime, and disease that has torn into the heart of this nation.”

"There are far too many institutions of higher learning in the United States that are training instrumental practitioners, not musicians."

“These artists must be not only communicative through their art, but also be knowledgeable about the intricacies of our society – politically, economically, socially – so that they can effectively work toward showing the power of the arts to a nation and its people who are often uninformed about the arts and view these activities with suspicion, occasional disdain, and frequently as being irrelevant.”

"Today, in the performing arts, an artist is often asked to train like an Olympic athlete, perform like an artistic philosopher, conduct business affairs with efficiency and intelligence, and be viewed by the media as a gregarious and fun-loving individual."

“A person who cannot be a competent and communicative performer on a musical instrument will rarely be a competent and communicative music teacher.”

"Always stay alert to the fact that your performances are for others... Try not to present performances in which your artistry stops abruptly at the edge of the stage."

"I have come to believe more and more that it is today's artist who has the responsibility for making our world a livable place during these times of economic, political, and technological upheaval."

"You must never forget that you are communicators. You are the artists who are going to make other people understand the power of art, and you will help define their experiences as human beings in our culture and society."

"Lead through example, and remember the power you hold as an artist."

What Polisi did about this at Juilliard

“Although students and faculty interacted on a daily basis, there was no deep sense of community or belonging at the school. Juilliard, in many ways, was a commuter school…A residence hall was opened in 1990.”

“During my tenure at Juilliard, I have formed the conviction that American artists must become active members of communities, working effectively and methodically to ensure that the arts are a vital element in the fabric of American society.”

"Pedagogy continues to be not a high priority for music faculty in 2004. Nevertheless, the vast majority of our music and dance students teach after graduation. This anomaly must be resolved if Juilliard is to provide a multifaceted and realistic curriculum for its students."

Morse Fellowship Program

Teaching experience for Juilliard students

A Report from in the field! Higgins' view of community music!

Community Music

  • Music of a community
  • Communal music making
  • Active intervention between music leader and participants
  • More emphasis given on the process than the product
  • Socially necessary

Who is it for?

  • Everybody has the right and ability to make, create and enjoy their own music
  • Support music participation beyond classroom walls
  • All ages, genders, nationalities, languages, etc
  • Mental health patients
  • Prison inmates
  • English as a second language (ESL) students

Humans are social; they need the connectedness and belonging that music brings.

Lee Higgins Ph. D. Dissertation about Community Music

What are we going to do?

Kick Start Community Event

Tuesday, Nov. 19th, 6pm to Wednesday, Nov. 19th 2014 at 8pm


Challenge yourself to get involved! Even the smallest change is a step in the right direction. Be the role model your students deserve!