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Book Review

The Muses Go to School: Inspiring Stories About the Importance of Arts in Education

What do Whoopi Goldberg, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rosie Perez, and
Phylicia Rashad have in common? A transformative encounter with the
arts during their school years. Whether attending a play for the first time,
playing in the school orchestra, painting a mural under the direction of an
art teacher, or writing a poem, these famous performers each credit an
experience with the arts at school with helping them discover their inner
humanity and putting them on the road to fully realized creative lives.
In this book, autobiographical pieces with well-known artists and
performers are paired with interpretive essays by distinguished educators
to produce a powerful case for positioning the arts at the center of
primary and secondary school curriculums. Spanning a range of genres
from acting and music to literary and visual arts, these smart and
entertaining voices make surprising connections between the arts and the
development of intellect, imagination, spirit, emotional intelligence, selfesteem,
and self-discipline of young people.
With support from a star-studded cast, editors Herbert Kohl and Tom
Oppenheim present a critique of the growing national trend to eliminate
the arts in public education. The Muses Go to School shows that creative
arts, as a means of academic and personal development, are a critical
element of any education.