Saturday, March 17, 2007

Luring them in

Here's a great photo guide to The Boring Store, part of author Dave Eggars' chain of free writing programs for urban young people. Disguised by a store front advertising itself as most definitely not a place to buy spy and secret agent supplies, The Boring Store is actually a cover for a creative writing workshop, with the false front the perfect way for drawing young people in.

As someone who both loved and loathed the band- and choir-based mass music education system in US schools (Paul Bailey recently had a post on a similar topic), I'm always on the lookout for alternative and complementary approaches, and in particular, those alternatives which lead to a broader idea of what music is and might be. (Have no doubt, the present conservatism is due in large part to the built-in resilience of institutional music instruction in the US). I could well imagine a curious storefront similar to that of The Boring Store, hiding a workshop for both getting to know new music and making some of it yourself, through composition and improvisation, with tools and materials for instrument building and some basic sound recording and editing equipment.

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