Despite the National Coalition for Arts Standards providing a framework for creative and integrative music education, relatively few opportunities for students to express their creativity and connect with music in their lives and culture exist due to a fixation on competitive performance. Such a disproportionate reliance on performance-based music education ignores students’ creative potential and severs their connection to more-than-human musics. Meanwhile, during a student mental health crisis, competition not only ignores the health and wellness needs of students and teachers but leads to unhealthy and unsustainable life practices causing stress and anxiety. The expressive and creative arts offer dramatic alternatives, actively engaging senses and creating embodied experiences that can foster curiosity, wellness, positive development, and social emotional learning. Anchored in poiesis, person-centered psychotherapy, intermodal arts integration, eco-consciousness, and health and wellness, this curriculum helps educators facilitate expressive and creative arts experiences in the context of standards-based music learning.



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