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Exploring young people's artistic worlds

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Abstract To gain a better understanding of arts education in the 21st century, we must first expand the lens through which we view young people’s artistic worlds. Drawing on a recent interview study conducted by Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYME), I explore the values, quality of character, and personhood of young people’s artistic worlds in terms of their personal and social commitment to learning, respect for others’ learning, and valuing of innovation, inspiration, and multidimensionality. I will present a transformative theory for arts education that conceptualizes young people’s artistic worlds as zones of complexity involving expansive learning opportunities through media convergence culture, and zones of contact involving interconnections through social media and learning relationships. I argue that an evolution in artistic learning has taken place that is capable of empowering learners and fostering autonomy, resiliency, and life-long positive arts engagement.

Bionotes Susan O’Neill is Associate Professor in Arts Education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. She is Director of Research for Youth, Music and Education (RYME) and Senior Editor of the Canadian Music Educators’ Biennial Book Series, Research to Practice. She has published widely in music psychology and music education. She applies her multidisciplinary background (three separate graduate degrees in music, education, psychology) to the study of young people’s artistic beliefs and values, youth-led participatory action research, and the impact of youth music engagement on motivation, identity, well-being, media literacy, and cultural understanding. As a flutist, she performs benefit concerts to raise awareness of social justice issues with her husband, pianist Yaroslav Senyshyn. One of their joint recitals was recently released on CD, Live at Von Kuster Hall (Platon Promotions).

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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