There is an amazing documentary, Unsung: Behind the Glee, which chronicles the journey of two rival Toronto high school glee clubs as they gear up for a musical showdown at the annual Show Choir Canada National Championship.
This documentary is fascinating because
· it has incredible music and dance;
· shows the value of the arts in the lives of some adolescents;
· and clearly demonstrates the commitment of teachers.
Yes it is a competition (and many of the students are elite singers/dancers) but it is an inside look at the work and enthusiasm of teachers and students alike. For some students their involvement in music and dance literally “saved” them. For some of the teachers, their music/dance groups are like their family (they scold, praise, encourage, laugh, cry). There are powerful stories of kids overcoming huge adversity through their involvement in these musical groups.
Clive and I watched it last night and I was moved to tears. It is only available until January 27th so give yourself an hour (stop preparing for class or marking or doing housework ….) and watch it.
For those of you not in the arts (like me) it was very informative. For those of you in the arts you will probably relate to the stories and unfolding events. Whether students are elite or just enjoy music and dance (for appreciation), the arts have a very important place in the curriculum and should be well funded. The arts are not a frill but are part of the basics of life.