Klea Scharberg

Plácido Domingo Is for Whole Child Education

World-renowned tenor, conductor, and general director of Whole Child Partner the Washington National Opera, Plácido Domingo believes in a whole child approach to education.

The arts stimulate the very qualities that make us human and are an essential component in a whole child approach to education. Arts education engages young people in critical skills essential to success in the 21st century economy and global society: the ability to communicate [and] empathize for other human beings, the development of abstract thought, and the ability to work as part of a team.

For the world of opera is not just for singers, orchestral musicians, or dancers—you can also sew costumes or apply makeup on the performers; you can design, build, and paint the set; you can work on lighting, moving the set, or promoting the opera. The job opportunities are immense. So, opera isn't just about singing. There is a role for virtually everyone.

The stories of diverse cultures told through the arts give young and old alike tools to understand a complex, global society rich in history, convention, and beauty. Finally, the arts allow us to express our feelings in a healthy way, and sharing emotions is the bond that ties children to their families, friends, and community. People who are emotionally bonded to each other make up a healthy and empathetic world.

I hope you will join me in making the story of arts a priority in our schools and thus help make our world a better and more beautiful place.

If you stand for whole child education, you can speak out for it, too. Contact your senators, and ask them to support the National Whole Child Resolution, S. Res. 478, which makes a whole child approach to education a national priority and designates March as "National Whole Child Month." Don't forget to sign the Whole Child Petition to tell your state board of education that it must do more to educate the whole child.

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Plácido Domingo Is for Whole Child Education — Who

October 27, 2010

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