We stand on the shoulders of Giants...
Our methods are unique, and the result of much testing. At Cool Conservatory, we have created a synthesis of many of the best ideas from the past, combined with the most up-to-date research into How We Learn. We owe a great debt to the Master Educators you'll discover on this page. Although most of these leaders focused primarily on teaching music, theater, or art to children, their core concepts have proven completely applicable to the instruction of teens and adults.
Dr. Betty Edwards, Ph.D
Betty Edwards (b. 1926) is an American art teacher and author, best known for her 1979 book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. This book has remained the dominant resource on its subject, and is used as a standard text in many art schools. Edwards's method of drawing and teaching was revolutionary when she published it in 1979. It received an immediate positive response, and is now widely accepted by artists, teachers, and others around the world. Underlying the method is the notion that the brain has two ways of perceiving and processing reality — one verbal and analytic, the other visual and perceptual. Edwards' method advocates suppressing the former in favor of the latter. It focuses on disregarding preconceived notions of what the drawn object should look like, and on individually "seeing" edges or lines, spaces, relationships, and lights and shadows, later combining them and seeing them as a whole, or gestalt. 1
Carl Orff was a prominent German composer. The Orff Schulwerk is considered an "approach" to music education. It begins with a student's innate abilities to engage in rudimentary forms of music, using basic rhythms and melodies. Orff considers the whole body a percussive instrument and students are led to develop their music abilities in a way that parallels the development of western music. The approach encourages improvisation and discourages adult pressures and mechanical drill, fostering student self-discovery. Carl Orff developed a special group of instruments, including modifications of the glockenspiel, xylophone, metallophone, drum, and other percussion instruments to accommodate the requirements of the Schulwerk courses. 3
The Dalcroze method was developed in the early 1900s by Swiss musician and educator Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. The method is divided into three fundamental concepts - the use of solfege, improvisation, and eurhythmics. Sometimes referred to as "rhythmic gymnastics", eurhythmics teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression using movement, and is the concept for which Dalcroze is best known. It focuses on allowing the student to gain physical awareness and experience of music through training that takes place through all of the senses, particularly kinesthetic. According to the Dalcroze method, music is the fundamental language of the human brain and therefore deeply connected to what human beings are. 4
The Suzuki method was developed by Shinichi Suzuki in Japan shortly after World War II, and it uses music education to enrich the lives and moral character of its students. The movement rests on the double premise that "all children can be well educated" in music, and that learning to play music at a high level also involves learning certain character traits or virtues which make a person's soul more beautiful. The primary method for achieving this is centered around creating the same environment for learning music that a person has for learning their native language. This 'ideal' environment includes love, high-quality examples, praise, rote training and repetition, and a time-table set by the student's developmental readiness for learning a particular technique. 5
Please Note: Cool Conservatory is NOT a Suzuki-Method School, and is not affiliated with Suzuki International in any way.
188.8.131.52.5. Source: Wikipedia
Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) was a prominent Hungarian music educator and composer who stressed the benefits of physical instruction and response to music. Although not really an educational method, his teachings reside within a fun, educational framework built on a solid grasp of basic music theory and music notation in various verbal and written forms. Kodaly's primary goal was to instill a lifelong love of music in his students and felt that it was the duty of the child's school to provide this vital element of education. Some of Koday's trademark teaching methods include the use of solfege hand signs, musical shorthand notation (stick notation), and rhythm solmization (verbalization). 2
Alex H. Urban
Alex Urban (1941-2007) was a prominent American director of Children's Theater Programs, as well as the originator of several early-childhood teaching systems. Urban was known throughout California and the nation for his work in the fields of creative drama and theatre for young people. His educational programs, “The Most Important Person” and “On Stage:Wally, Bertha and You” were adopted for use in schools in many states. Additional publications included “The Creative Drama Kit” and “Self-Expression and Conduct in the Humanities:The Dance/Drama Kit”. These reflect Urban's philosophy of directing which strove to make each young person develop greater self-confidence as well as enhance musical, dramatic, and dance skills. An important aspect of Urban's approach was his adherence to the "technique" school of acting, which focuses primarily on the use of imagination and physical action to generate creative expression.