Anthony Mazzocchi is former Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the South Orange/Maplewood School District, where he launched one of the first K-4 Suzuki Violin programs in New Jersey. During his stay, the district was designated “One of the Best Communities for Music Education” by the NAMM Association, and he was nominated for the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award by the GRAMMY Foundation. He posts here to The Village Green of Maplewood and South Orange:
The Truth About Arts Education in Our Schools From New Jersey District Director Anthony Mazzocchi
We are going down the path of so many other failed systems; teaching the creativity out of kids, and cutting the arts as an “easy fix” to making way for “new and improved” initiatives that often serve only as resume builders for transient administrators. These are the same cuts that many districts have made over the years, but not the great districts. Our district is supposed to be better than this, but perhaps I am wrong. Ultimately, we cannot continue to give lip service to meeting the challenges of the 21st century while embracing educational ideologies of the past. Our district needs to truly value different modes of intelligence and cultivate creative relationships between disciplines. Imagination, creativity, and innovation are not cultivated in a test prep factory.