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"Music of the Heart" A Film by Mr. Holland's Opus

In the beginning, she does this with little funding. After about a decade of teaching, her funding is cut even further by an administration that still does not see the value of this kind of program. By this time, Roberta has proven her ability and the ability of her charges. She now has a program at three schools, and she is very popular with the students, so popular that young people enter a lottery just to get into her classes. In spite of this, her funds are cut. Roberta is enough of a celebrity by this time to get help from the New York Times and to create a concert with notables such as violinists Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, and Arnold Steinhardt performing to raise money for these young people.

One important element in this film is that even though Roberta is fully aware of the limitations facing her students--the poor homelife, the poverty, the gangs, the threats in the street, and the fact that they have never been given a good educational experience before--she does not talk down to them or treat them as handicapped by their lives. Instead, she requires just as much from them as she would from privileged students, and because she demands so much, they respond and show their capabilities as they never have before. This suggests clearly that schools can expect more rather than less from students and get it, and the success of Guaspari's program suggests not just what can be done with music but what can be done with every subject if the teachers apply themselves and care as much as Guaspari does.

Much has been written about what is wrong with our schools today, and this film shows both what is wrong and what can be right at the same time. Interestingly, it follows in some ways many of the suggestions recently made by a report issued under the heading Rethinking Our Classrooms, which serves as a guide for discussion of the way schools are likely to develop in the future, with suggestions toward designing the school...

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"Music of the Heart" A Film by Mr. Holland's Opus. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:29, August 17, 2017, from
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