The Kanack School of Musical Artistry has been a part of the Rochester community for over 20 years. In 2017 our school became a non-profit with the goal of increasing our impact in the community and Internationally. At the core of our organization is Creative Ability Development (CAD): a pedagogical system developed by Alice Kay Kanack which uses disciplined musical improvisation to develop the creative part of the brain, to heighten each student’s innate musicality, and to enhance creative ability across multiple intellectual pursuits.
We offer individual and group lessons to students of all ages in an enriching, nurturing and inclusive environment where all can grow to reach their fullest potential: artistically, creatively, socially, and intellectually.
The Kanack School of Musical Artistry is also the epicenter of Creative Ability Development within our community and internationally.
In 2018 we will be reaching outside of our walls to begin a CAD preschool program in partnership with Garth Fagan Dance in the city of Rochester. This program will offer CAD using different forms of expressive art (visual, dance, storytelling, and music) to young students at the age when they can most benefit. The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund has granted us a challenge grant of $25,000 to make this program happen.
In addition to raising funds for new and existing programs we are also in need of more space and have a beautiful addition planned for our current home. This addition will allow us to take on more students, employ more faculty, and offer more opportunities to the community.
The Kanack School of Musical Artistry is the not-for-profit epicenter of Creative Ability Development (CAD) within our community and internationally. We provide an enriching, nurturing, and inclusive environment where all can grow to reach their fullest potential: artistically, creatively, socially, and intellectually.
CAD defined: a pedagogical system which uses disciplined musical improvisation to develop the creative part of the brain, to heighten each student’s innate musicality, and to enhance creative ability across multiple intellectual pursuits.
-Expand the opportunities for enhanced learning, personal growth, character education, leadership, community involvement, and true artistic development.
-Provide a musical training program for students and educators which exemplifies the ideal training of a whole musician: technically masterful, uniquely creative, and completely literate.
-Build the organization’s capacity and ensure its long-term sustainability through collaborations, program awareness, philanthropic giving, and strategic capital investments in facilities and services.
-Lead research regarding the impact of CAD on brain growth and development.
-Foster and promote the understanding of CAD’s pedagogical impact: specifically the link between the disciplined practice of freedom of choice, and heightened achievement in musical, academic, and social spheres.
-Foster and promote the understanding of the link between the practice of CAD and enhanced peaceful social interaction within educational systems and beyond.
Harmony in educational environments
Discipline through practice
Appreciation, respect, and care for the environment of Creative Development
Our age has been called the “age of consciousness,” with good reason. We concentrate most of our learning on logic and reason, and very little on creativity. However, any advancement in art, science, philosophy, medicine, etc., is through a combination of great intelligence and great creative ability. Indeed, “genius” is defined as “great mental capacity and inventive ability,” and it is genius that keeps us moving forward on a path of greater humanity.
Obviously we can’t all be geniuses, but I believe that geniuses are developed through their own deeply felt needs. The more we can create these needs in our children, the more like geniuses they will become and the greater our world will be as a result of their greater humanity.
“Creativity is the opposite of destruction.” The educational equation is simple:
Teach them, encourage them and allow them to fulfill their own natural needs in creative ways;
Encourage them to be sincere in their expression (which is the search for truth);
Encourage them to be their best (which is the search for beauty); and
Teach them to be always open to, and to have respect for the ideas of others. (Creativity is built on creativity: Each new idea grows from an old one.)
If we can learn to teach our children by this equation we may see them grow to be like geniuses in their manner of thought and expression, and as a result, we may also see them grow to be greater human beings.
From The Philosophy and Method of Creative Ability Development, Alice Kay Kanack
We focus on: Education, Arts and Culture
Where we are: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne
We have a matching grant!
Creative Ability Development Pre-School Program - 1-1 Challenge Grant from The William G McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc.
Summary of Grant
KSMA will create a new preschool program dedicated to the pedagogical concepts of (CAD) Creative Ability Development. The pilot program will be created at KSMA and concurrently a sister program will be initiated in the under-served inner city of Rochester.
The new program would include the elements of dance, music, visual arts and storytelling, allowing students to benefit from the proven brain development properties of CAD. The implementation of the new preschool CAD program would create a whole new cross-genre educational paradigm which would teach students to work in a collaborative style helping them to create and perform in an innovative yet disciplined environment paving the way for academic achievement.
Use of Grant:
• Program Development
• Teacher Training
• Facility Support
• Low income student support
Purpose of Organization
The Kanack School of Musical Artistry (KSMA) is the epicenter of Creative Ability Development worldwide, with almost 400 students, 20 exceptional faculty, and an engaged interactive board.
The move to include ‘A’, the arts, to turn STEM into STEAM was the result of studies showing the incredible impact the arts could have on academic achievement across the board. “In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future.” There is the assumption that the arts will teach innovation. But do they? On their own, not necessarily. Arts are often taught in an imitative and historical way.
The pedagogy of Creative Ability Development (CAD) takes the STEAM concept a huge innovative step forward. Using music as a language and improvisation as a tool, CAD develops and grows the creative part of the brain impacting both academic and artistic achievement at the highest level.
CAD as a pedagogy has been around for over 30 years. Its success can therefore be documented and quantified by its original participants.
CAD’s pedagogy can best be described by its practical application: “Intense disciplined practice of the freedom of choice.” Because of its absolute focus on creativity, and its design to be intensely practiced, CAD impacts the STEAM initiative in a unique and powerful way. We can hypothesize, based on long term evidence and recent neurological studies, that CAD grows creative myelin across the whole brain. In other words, the study of CAD allows students to develop the ability to think creatively in all areas of the STEAM initiative.
Now in its 21st year, KSMA is seeking to enlarge its footprint, and increase its impact in the city of Rochester (7th highest poverty rate in the US), where 49% of 9th graders do not graduate, and over 30% of school families receive financial assistance. Our goal is also to lead the way to better educational systems worldwide through teacher training programs and research.
1. Strings for Success. KSMA provides free camp to select students and provides extremely low cost private lessons and free group classes all year.
2. Garth Fagan Dance Student Ensemble. The purpose of the collaboration is to share the concepts of CAD with the world of dance and to develop a working paradigm for others to study.
3. WXXI/KSMA/CAD NP. This collaboration is about the creation of a film to demonstrate the enormous potential of CAD in the field of education. Titled “Journey to Creativity", it traces the impact CAD has had on the lives and careers of its students over a thirty year period.
4. The Harmony Project – California. The Harmony Project serves the poorest communities in Los Angeles using an El Sistema based system. KSMA has trained multiple teachers to add a CAD component.
5. The CODA program – Chicago. CODA is a community outreach program serving West Chicago. KSMA has trained multiple teachers in the CAD pedagogy.
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