Dvorák as key to teaching American cultural history

Posted on: July 14, 2010

In Wednesday’s (7/14) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Emily Fuggetta writes about “Dvorák in America,” a teacher-training program underway this month in Pittsburgh, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and hosted by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the University of Pittsburgh. “The participants—third- through 12th-grade educators whose subject areas include music, social studies, literature, curriculum development and school libraries—will be guided through the program by its creator, musical consultant and renowned author Joseph Horowitz. He worries that classical music is no longer a fixture in American life. ‘I think we’re in an emergency movement,’ Mr. Horowitz said. ‘If we don’t expose young people to the arts in school, they’re likely to remain unexposed.’ His program teaches the story of Dvorák, a Czech composer who spent three years in America creating his seminal Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World,’ as a way to inspire Americans to create a musical style of their own. … Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra president and CEO Lawrence Tamburri said ‘Dvorak in America’ is part of a bigger picture—restoring creativity in a time when arts education takes a back seat to standardized test preparation. ‘We need to find every way possible to be involved in the education of children,’ Mr. Tamburri said. ‘Once people get involved, they get deeper and deeper into it.’”

Posted July 14, 2010