International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 2 Number 7

November 12, 2001

Learning Through the Artsä
Program Goals, Features, and Pilot Results

Angela Elster
The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario

This article describes an artist-teacher-institutional collaboration that began in Toronto, Canada, in the mid-1990s, and that has grown to become national initiative. Learning Through the Artsä(LTTA) was established in 1995 by The Royal Conservatory of Music, a national leader in preschool and music education programs, and was soon to change the ways in which 60 artists, 200 teachers and 4,000 students in Toronto approached and experienced public education. The initiative grew out of a response to the need to expand learning opportunities for young people in schools. The project involves an approach to learning through the arts, where the arts are used to access concepts and make meaning. The structure of the program is outlined in the paper, as well as some initial research findings. The five year pilot project, which developed and tested the model that is now being implemented with over 20,000 students in six additional cities across Canada, involved Toronto artists in partnership with the former North York Board of Education (now the Toronto District School Board). After a short period, LTTA garnered the support of artists, teachers, principals, and upper administration. Research on the Toronto pilot has indicated that students' attitudes towards school curricula have improved, that teachers have gained confidence and skills related to teaching from an arts-infused perspective, and that administrative practices were changed to increase support for arts curricula after involvement with LTTA.

At the outset of the 21st century many educators and parents are considering the kind of education young people need to become responsible and productive members of a global society. Recognizing that schooling should help facilitate the development of creative, thoughtful, and responsible citizens we are compelled to consider how such development occurs, and to provide rich opportunities for learning for all young people (Landsberg, 1997, Eisler, 2000). Such rich opportunities must include the arts. There is documented evidence of the important role the arts play in education (Dewey, 1943; Eisner, 1972, 1972, 1976, 1994; Gardner, 1973; Greene, 1995). There are, of course, no guarantees or easy solutions to the complex challenges in education but an arts-rich curriculum can provide a vehicle for self-expression, self-understanding, self-confidence, creative problem solving and motivation (Knill, 1995; Pitman, 1998).


Over the past decade, there have been numerous indications that education in Ontario, Canada, would operate with less money, fewer teachers, more students and students with greater special needs (Elster, 1999). In this province and elsewhere it was clear that we would be facing a crisis in education. A recent study found that in the greater Metropolitan Toronto area, "administrators and teachers, already overwhelmed by expanding mandates, are asked to relate to the lives of an increasingly diverse and multicultural student body" (Korn, 1994). Major changes in the world were making it increasingly more difficult to prepare the student to be "the responsible citizen of the future with the life skills to live and work in a global world" (Drake, 1992). In the province of Ontario people were experiencing a fundamental change, not only in education, but also in the social structures, the corporate world, science, medicine, technology and the private sector.
In response to this situation The Royal Conservatory of Music engaged Artsvision, an organization widely regarded in the U.S.A. as a leader in innovative education projects, to conduct an assessment of education in relationship to the arts and learning in the public schools system of metropolitan Toronto. This assessment was made throughout several months in 1994 (Korn, 1994). After months of intensive interviews, focus groups and surveys of students, parents, educators, administrators and artists, a report was published which concluded that Metropolitan Toronto schools faced a formidable set of challenges (Korn, 1994). Authors of the report found that many students were disengaged from their studies. This was not surprising given that as many as 80% of students in some of the schools spoke English as a Second Language and had difficulties understanding their teachers and their peers. Teachers, while struggling to meet the demands of a new curriculum, found much of their time was spent on conflict resolution and educating students at basic academic levels. Many of the educators interviewed believed that the arts could make a difference in their schools, yet feared that budget cuts would mean less funding for arts experiences at a time when it was most needed. The report concluded further that artists and arts organizations throughout Metropolitan Toronto, though committed to education and outreach programs, were not using their considerable resources as effectively as possible. After several decades of field trips and artist-in-the-school programs these efforts remained largely uncoordinated, unfocused and without tangible outcomes. Few of these programs had mechanisms for preparing students for artists' visits, and the primary role of the students was to observe the artist/performer, rather than engage in the creative process themselves.
The Artsvision report recommended the implementation of a comprehensive approach to arts education, in fact to education, that uses the arts not only as a discipline but also as a means of teaching across the curriculum. Such an approach had the potential to make a decisive contribution to a school's ability to meet the complex and growing challenges before it. In addition to the compelling argument for arts based education included in the Artsvision report, much has been written about the value of the arts in areas such as creativity (Eisner, 1994; Gardner, 1983, 1991, 1993). Subsequent work by Gardner and others (Eisner, 1994; Greene, 1995; Upitis 1997) has reinforced the value of the arts as a tool for the teaching and learning of many skills and concepts beyond the arts themselves. An arts based education can:
  • Facilitate the development of analytical and problem-solving skills (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996; Eisner, 1985)
  • Stimulate natural curiosity (Pitman, 1998)
  • Cultivate a broad range of thinking skills (Greene, 1995)
  • Make learning relevant for students of the many diverse cultural backgrounds that exist in today's schools (Pitman, 1998)
  • Facilitate the connections that need to be made among academic areas and events outside the classrooms (Miller, 1994; Drake, 1998)
  • Enhance teamwork (Pitman, 1998)
  • Strengthen the ability to use and acquire information and to master different types of symbol systems (Abbott, 1999; Gardner, 1999)
  • Develop creative thinking skills and thereby access higher order thinking skills (Greene, 1995)
  • Serve as a vehicle for self expression – give voice to feelings and experiences (Knill, 1995)
  • Serve as a vehicle to help students make meaning of what they are learning (Greene, 1995)
With a mission "to develop human potential through leadership in music and arts education", it seemed obvious that The Royal Conservatory of Music should begin to use its' considerable expertise and resources to address what was clearly a crisis in education. It was time to develop a new model for education that would demonstrate the value of an arts-based comprehensive approach and serve as a practical blueprint for all the classrooms of the nation.

First Steps

Not surprisingly, a number of educators and artists felt threatened by the bleak picture of the status quo that was presented in the Artsvision report. However, school administrators and teachers were generally supportive of the recommendations in the report. The Director of the North York Board of Education, approached the President of The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) and requested that The RCM work in partnership with the North York Board of Education on a pilot project. In 1995, a letter of agreement was signed and The Royal Conservatory of Music began a five year relationship with six schools in the former North York Board of Education (a seventh school was added in the second year of the program and an eighth and ninth were added at the end of the third year).
The RCM's objectives were as follows:
  • To create a model that would infuse arts into the curriculum (math, science, social studies, language arts) of all students, all teachers in all grades of selected schools in the public school system
  • To ensure that the learning experiences were sequential, cumulative and sustained over several years and available to every student and every teacher in all participating schools.
  • To make the ongoing training and development of artists and teachers a priority
  • To establish partnerships with institutions of higher education/research who would assess the program
  • To secure long-term financial support from government, corporations, individuals, and foundations
  • To utilize a wide variety of the rich artistic resources available in the Toronto community
  • To develop the skills, expertise and resources within the RCM in order to extend the program into other communities
The former North York Board of Education was required to provide:
  • Release time for teachers to participate in program planning and teacher professional development (the equivalent of 2.5 days per teacher annually for five years)
  • Program support for teachers at the supervisory level
  • A commitment from every school in the program to support full school implementation of the initiative.
After a year of planning and development, the program was launched in the fall of 1995 in grades one and six in four schools.

How Does It Work?

Learning Through the Artsäis a comprehensive and complex approach to bringing about school transformation. The arts are not treated as a separate area of learning and appreciation, but are infused directly into the general curriculum in a manner that enhances a child's ability to learn concepts required in many disciplines. At the heart of this innovative program lies the premise that the discipline, cooperation, creativity, and self-esteem developed in the arts are essential life skills. LTTA consists of a flexible template designed to meet the day-to-day needs of teachers and links professional development for teachers and artists to the systematic application of new techniques in the classroom, through 3-5 year partnerships with resident artists from the local community. The links between all components are critical to the success of the initiative.

Figure 1


Figure 2

The Process

Stage One

Selected schools commit to a minimum three-year full school implementation process. Teachers at each grade level identify areas of the curriculum that would benefit from additional creative, holistic teaching strategies. As a result of this exploration a "big" theme often evolves, example, grade one, "Myself and Others". Teachers at each grade determine three art forms that will support the areas of the curriculum they have identified. "Where can I use creative support?" is a question that teachers ask themselves individually and collectively.

Grade One

Theme: "Myself and Others"

Curricular Connection Art Form
Term one: language arts Storytelling
Term two: social studies Global percussion
Term three: numeracy Songwriting

Stage Two

Artists are briefed and interviewed. Criteria for this selection includes that the artist:
  • Is a practicing artist;
  • Demonstrates an interest in holistic education and integrated teaching/learning;
  • Is willing to commit to the collaborative curriculum development and implementation process;
  • Is willing to become familiar with curriculum in the areas of math, science, social studies and language arts;
  • Is willing to make a long term commitment (minimum of three years);
  • Demonstrates interest and affinity for children.
Successful candidates are added to the roster of artist educators. Artists are divided into teams of three artists per team (three different arts disciplines) to work closely with individual schools and specific grades.

Stage Three

Artist professional development sessions are held to provide artists with tools in areas such as the following:
  • Provincial curriculum, age appropriate material, classroom management, multiple intelligences, learning styles, special needs, lesson planning, holistic education, models of integration;
  • Artists and teachers meet in their respective teams to explore the theme, plan a sequence, research content and begin to develop strategies for classroom sessions;
  • Individual artists meet with their grade specific teacher teams and to collaboratively develop the classroom units. Here teachers are lead through hands-on arts processes to develop their skill set. Together specific objectives and evaluation tools are developed.

Stage Four

In the first term (late September – December) over a 4-6 week period (which includes the previously mentioned hands-on teacher workshop) the first artist completes three classroom sessions (a minimum of one week between sessions) with clear instructions for teacher follow-up and extensions between visits. These sessions are considered on site teacher professional development with ongoing dialogue encouraged between sessions in person, by telephone, by fax, and by e-mail. This ongoing dialogue also allows for integration and development of the ideas the students bring to the creative process and to the learning process. At the conclusion of the allotted three classroom sessions the artist and teacher debrief. This process is repeated in the second term with the second artist (the same teachers and students). The process is repeated in the third term with the third artist (the same teachers and students). A second series of artist professional development sessions are held in January offering additional topics to strengthen artists' skill sets.
These four stages are repeated for minimum of three years with the same artists and teachers partnerships whenever possible. This allows teachers the opportunity to deepen their skills from year to year while at the same time providing students with a wide range of experiences as they move from artist team to artist team in the three years. The activities are documented and extended in Resource Guides that are distributed to participating teachers and artists each year. These Resource Guides become collections of "best practices" to be shared by all participants.

In-class artist session, social studies through storytelling

Examples of Best Practices

This grade 5 unit was developed by a dancer and the grade 5 teachers and focused on the science curriculum, Structures and Mechanisms. The three classroom sessions were Building Bridges, Movement and Motion, and Systems in Motion.

Session I: Building Bridges
Preparation before the first artist visit

The grade 5 students and the classroom teacher were requested, by the artist, to research a range of bridge structures, including the way location influences design. They then identified the sequence of steps involved in building a bridge.
In groups of 4-5, students used their bodies to imitate the structure of a number of different types of bridges. The students are guided by the dancer in finding points of balance, stability and exploring concepts such as stress, weight and truss.
Once secure, students were challenged with a problem.
"You are a small private business on the brink of bankruptcy. A giant corporation has approached you to build a bridge. Winning the contract will ensure your business success. You must prepare a presentation to sell your bridge to a panel of judges. However, high winds and uneven terrain plague the site of the bridge. You must take this into account in your design and presentation."
Small group exploration (through dance), design and presentation took place between artist visits, facilitated by the classroom teacher.

Session II: Movement and Motion
Preparation before the second artist visit

The students and the classroom teacher were encouraged to research gear systems, pulley systems, axles and wheels. They then built simple prototypes of these ands explored how they functioned independently and together.
The prototypes and their function, both individually and collectively, served as catalysts for creative movement and contact dance. The students required a clear understanding of the function of these systems in order to apply the basic principles to dance. The students observed the movement of their object and emulated the movement with their bodies. They then used appropriate science vocabulary to describe what was happening in the dance. This session concluded with students committing to writing a report, using science terminology, on the process of building their prototype and imitating its movement. The report would be completed between artist visits.

Session III: Systems in Motion
Preparation before the third artist visit

The students and the classroom teacher were requested to research the concepts of structure, mechanism, system, pressure, stability, torque and moving a heavy load.
During the in-class session the students explored different ways parts of the body can impose force on other parts of the body (i.e. clasping hands softly as opposed to loudly). They observed the mechanics of the arm as it picks up a light object, a heavy object, and as it pulls someone across the floor. To explore structure (a framework that is built to sustain a load), students worked in pairs. One student acted as the stable structure (in this case a table – two hands and two knees on the ground) and the other student acted as the load. By finding a point of balance the second student is able to create a shape with his/her body on the back of the first student (table). The first student (table) needs to understand principles of stability in order to successfully carry the load (second student).
To explore torque (the product of force and the perpendicular distance to a turning axis), the students rolled their bodies at different speeds. They rolled on the floor lengthwise and then in tucked in position – and observed what happens. In groups of twos and threes they explored spinning and how the turning force changes when more than one person takes part.
To explore the concept of moving a load, the students were asked to problem solve how to move a person from one side of the room to the other using two poles and a large piece of plexi-glass or wood. The students soon discovered that by placing the plexi-glass on the two poles and having the person sit on top of the plexi-glass the person (load) could be rolled across the floor. Once that concept was internalized, students, in groups of 6-8, were given the same challenge but without the two poles and the plexi-glass. The teams of students worked together to create a mechanism – a human conveyer belt. Several students lay lengthwise on the floor side by side. Another student gently lay across the top of the human conveyer belt and was transported across the room.
Finally, students were asked to use science vocabulary to write reports on mechanisms they discovered and observed in their community. Where were they found? How did they function? How could they be improved? The students also had the opportunity to watch a contact dance performance given by the artists with whom they worked. The performance provided opportunities to experience the scientific concepts performed as part of a production, thus deepening their understanding.

Other samples of Best Practices

Math and Social Studies through Weaving

In this unit the students and teachers worked with a weaver. Preliminary work involved researching how the products of weaving were devoted to a single, more complex set of activities. Students began by researching how the products of weaving and fabric making are used in our society. Next, students built a rigid-headle loom. They learned to string it and weave on it. By compiling and assembling the materials the students integrated concepts of math and problem solving. The act of weaving itself required balancing several variables: warp tension, shed alteration, the switching of the weft or shuttle from hand to hand, and maintaining the correct texture and pattern. Students acquired new vocabulary, learned to plan ahead, and demonstrated an understanding of challenging new concepts and skills. In follow-up sessions, students researched the history of the fabric making and how fabric affects culture. They wrote about the invention of the cotton gin and its impact on slavery in North America.

Social Studies through Visual Art (Sculpting)

This unit explored Asian history. In groups of 4-5, students researched issues in Asian history. They then created sculptures made of Asian materials (chop sticks, rice bowls, bamboo, rice paper etc.). Upon completion each group created a metaphor which best described their sculpture. The sculpture pictured above was simply titled "The Boat People". Another powerful sculpture was entitled "The Sorrow over the Partition of Korea".

Early Research

Early qualitative research and testimonials (Elster, 1999, Wilkinson 1996, 1997, 1998) demonstrate significant teacher growth over multiple years. The data were gathered through surveys and ongoing teacher evaluations completed by teachers participating in the initiative over a three-year period (1995-1998). The teacher surveys were distributed and collected at the end of the third year of implementation. The surveys consisted of nine questions. The first five questions requested teachers' views on their classroom practice with respected to the arts before this initiative. The remaining four questions invited teachers' views on their use of the arts in daily classroom curriculum since becoming involved in LTTA. Following the nine questions there was space for additional comments with regard to their views of arts and education in response to this initiative.
The teacher evaluations encouraged responses to the experience of working with artists and the effectiveness of the initiative. The evaluations were submitted three times a year, after each artist unit. At the end of the second year, according to her principal, one first grade teacher had developed more professionally than in her previous twenty years of teaching (Wilkinson, 1996). At the end of the third year teachers documented their changes in surveys which contained the following comments (Elster, 1999).
Teacher testimonials indicating change:
  • Less fear of the arts
  • More confident using the arts
  • Confident enough to attempt current activities without the guidance of the artists
  • Has made a concentrated effort to use the arts daily in all areas of curriculum
  • Regrets that this awareness was not present at the beginning of the teaching career
  • Has become an eager participant and acknowledges reluctant start
  • Takes every opportunity to do art with the class
  • Observes more teachers (colleagues) are willing to take risks with the arts
  • Is now more secure in the belief that the arts teach creative thinking, problem solving, risk taking, team work and communication
  • Learned that risk taking in a new art form can carry over to literacy, oral presentations and can deepen the learning experience of all students.
These same teachers also revealed a greater understanding of the value of the arts, as documented in the surveys (Elster, 1999):
  • The arts reach a greater number of students than other curricular areas
  • The arts meet the needs of every learning style
  • Those who struggle at school and those who have low attention spans excel in the arts
  • The arts can drive the basics
  • Children who seem "hopeless" have come "shining through" using arts as the motivator
  • The power of art gives every child an opportunity to be successful
  • Results of research on positive effects of LTTA on education in general.
The same group of teachers documented the influence of the LTTA initiative (Elster, 1999):
  • Appreciates the contributions of professional artists can make to the learning and the aesthetic growth of students
  • Was an incredibly rewarding experience for all
  • It is an inspiration for the students and the teachers to have an artist make a presentation
  • Observed students being engaged, motivated and challenged to open their minds to creative thought
  • Many students have hidden talents who have not had the opportunity or exposure to new art forms
  • Saw the power of performance, how it validated the students, calmed and focused them (the students).
  • Although this can sometimes be a struggle we must continue
  • (The arts education initiative) should be adopted by the new Ontario curriculum
  • Gave the teacher an opportunity to observe students interacting with other adult teachers and to appreciate their learning styles and changing values
  • Really grateful for the experience

Teacher Development session; Social Studies through Music

Is it Successful?

LTTA is based on the premise that in order for arts based education to be successful it must be cumulative and sustained over several years. There is evidence that programming that is brief, fragmented and infrequent has not proven to be a successful approach to arts education (Korn, 1994). Consequently, the pilot project had a five-year time frame based on our belief that sustained programming would have a positive impact on the artists, teachers, schools and most importantly, the students involved.
Already, there are indicators that the program is taking hold of the minds and hearts of the participants. In her review of journals kept by students in the second year of the program, Dr. Joyce Wilkinson (1997), of The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, cited many links between acquisition of English language skills and the arts. More powerful is the evidence that suggests that Learning Through The Artsäis successfully breaking through barriers that have impeded the learning of many of the students involved. As suggested by the Artsvision report, the infusion of arts into the curriculum does indeed seem to engaging students, particularly those with linguistic, cultural, emotional and behavioral challenges. Evidence gleaned from student journals led to the following statement by Dr. Wilkinson:
If Learning Through the Arts does nothing more than help children and teenagers cope with the emotional challenges they face, as it has already done for these young people, it will surpass any expectations anyone could have for its success. (Wilkinson, 1997, p.7)

Where Are We Now?

Six years after initial discussion began this initiative has completed the five-year pilot program in 9 schools. By the end of the first five-year pilot program all nine schools committed to continuing Learning through the Artsäwith their own funding. These schools have entered a second phase of implementation that empowers schools to self manage. The former North York Board of Education (now the Toronto District School Board) has contributed funds to allow 15 new school to participate. In 1999 with funding from the Millennium Bureau of Canada and other sponsors LTTA began implementation in Vancouver (Lower Mainland), Calgary, Regina, Windsor, Cape Breton and Corner Brook. This national expansion sees Learning Through the Artsä in 63 schools with 20,000 students participating. With a second National expansion launched in February 2001 that includes Niagara, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg and Montreal LTTA is positioned to expand to include 240 Canadian schools with 100,000 students participating by 2003. It is a transferable model that meets the unique needs of our rich and diverse national landscape.
The process has not been without complex challenges and certain risks. Every LTTA site has experienced education changes, some more significant than others, including amalgamation of Boards of Education, changes in political climates, budget cutbacks, extreme teacher attrition and a move towards "the basics". Schools are facing heightened expectations for student achievement on the part of both parents and business and community leaders. This has led to the introduction of a more demanding and uniform academic curriculum, and of standardized testing. The guiding principles of sustainability and sequential building become difficult given these circumstances.
Another significant challenge is with regards to the limited time artists spend in the classroom (a minimum of three, 1.5 hour sessions a year for each of three artists). Ideally, potentially with additional funding, a greater number of classroom visits will be possible. In the interim, a combination of ongoing resource support and a focus on what happens between sessions, when the artist isn't in the classroom, helps balance the need for more sessions with the artists.
Early results on the LTTA national expansion based on research directed by Dr. Rena Upitis and Dr. Katharine Smithrim shows that students who receive education rich in the arts are more likely to read for pleasure, more likely to perform well on mathematics and language tests, and less likely to spend leisure time watching television and/or playing video games. However, it is also the case that those students most likely to be involved in arts activities are those students who come from families where incomes are relatively high and parents are well-educated (Upitis & Smithrim, 2001). A detailed account of this research is presented in Baseline Student Achievement and Teacher Data from Six Canadian Sites. (Upitis & Smithrim, 2001)
An education system with the arts at the core of it can offer the benefits of the arts to all students. We are motivated to do so because we care. Carl Rogers reminds us that the simple act of caring is a vehicle that fosters creativity. "Caring is an attitude that is known to foster creativity – a nurturing climate in which delicate, tentative new thoughts and productive processes can emerge." (Rogers, 1980, p.160)
The power of the arts, the value of arts in education, the arts and the generalist, the vulnerability of the arts, arts educators and artists in our schools, the need for creativity in the arts and in our lives; these issues have all been addressed. For me, one of the most compelling responses to all of these issues is provided by Maxine Greene. who presents us with the premise that art and imagination should central in education:
We must make the arts central in school curricula because encounters with the arts have a unique power to release the imagination. Stories, poems, dance performances, concerts, paintings, films, plays--all have the potential to provide remarkable pleasure for those willing to move out toward them and engage with them. (Greene, 1995, p.27)

Where Do We Go From Here?

Is it presumptuous to think that the arts can transform school environments? Perhaps for some this is the truth, but others indicate not (Lewis, 2000). In my work across Canada, the USA and Europe I have the honour of meeting many who care about education. A large number of these individuals have compelling visions for change. Throughout most of the discussions regarding change the conversation will move to the obstacles that impede such change, with institutional impediments often cited as insurmountable. In other words, no matter how much hope the vision holds, feelings of fear and of lack of support emerge as barriers to implementation. There is, however, a counterpoint to institutional resistance and that is "social movement" (Palmer, 1998). Despite the current challenges facing the arts in education LTTA has moved forward at an accelerated pace over the course of the past six years. Based on our experience and research, we can identify several reasons for the rapid growth:
  • The sustained, sequential structure;
  • The building of authentic relationships between artists and teachers;
  • The focus on artist and teacher development;
  • Direct partnerships with Boards of Education;
  • The strong institutional support from The Royal Conservatory of Music based on the belief that the arts are a viable vehicle for social change.
It is this last reason that compels me to believe that the institutional resistance that impedes change can be balanced (if not eliminated) by an imaginative initiative being supported by a major educational institution. As an artist and an educator who has personally experienced the frustration of holding a vision and not finding the support necessary to bring this vision to life I am personally filled with hope as we move forward with LTTA. I am encouraged by the institutional support and the firm commitment that The Royal Conservatory of Music, under the direction of the President Dr. Peter Simon, continues to offer. All that had to happen to initiate such major educational transformation was for one institution to see the opportunity and to take it. By one institution making a commitment the example has been set. Within The Royal Conservatory of Music there was a critical mass driving the change and now there is the foundation for a critical mass being built across the nation – one school district at a time. Our experience continues to renew our hope and offers others the courage to hope.



Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington, April 10-14, 2001. The research reported here was supported, in part, through the generous support of the Millennium Bureau of Canada, the Canadian Pacific Charitable Foundation, and the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation.


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About the Author

Angela Elster
The Royal Conservatory of Music
Toronto, Ontario

Telephone: (416) 408-2824 ext. 223
Fax: (416) 408-3096

Angela Elster is the Executive Director for the Learning Through the Arts Program, at The Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). She is a musician by training, and also teaches Orff music to young children. She is a PhD candidate at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. Her research interests include teacher growth and the arts inspiring hope.

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