Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the University of Michigan's online course, Arts and Technology Teach-Out. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondSo for most of us who engage in the arts, the arts start shaping us from a very young age. John, how did the arts shape you from a young age? You know, art has been transformative in my life. And it isn't just because I do it as a profession.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 secondsI've had a terrible speech impediment my entire life. Now it has gotten better over time but as a kid, it was really bad, to the point where I would struggle to communicate at all. However, art and especially music, I could pick up my horn and be able to play and express myself without having to speak and it was fantastic. It changed me. It opened up my world to be able to say things without saying anything and I had so much to say, but I couldn't, I just couldn't say it. I would try to speak, my throat, it would lock up or the air that would come out of my mouth would get stuck or it's a strange feeling actually.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 secondsBut often times, people thought that I wasn't able to communicate when in fact, I just couldn't physically and so the arts I think, are a beautiful tool for anyone living with any disability and especially nowadays. It can be created in the space of technology and distributed in a way that has never been possible before. What I think about my younger days with arts myself, I also had a speech impediment, not to the extent that you might hear, with John now, but both of us have many years of speech therapy. And I will say that although mine was addressed more through surgery rather than as many years of speech therapy, it still created a separation between me and other students.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 secondsThe hour that was most inclusive in my day was the hour that I was in band. And actually as I was participating in choirs, as I was singing, I was learning the motions to form a lot of words that I couldn't form for the first time in speech but rather in song. And so that was really formative for me in terms of being able to transform not only how I spoke but how I felt about being together with others. And in terms of our teach out, when we talk about how art is created, technology allows you to create art in a safe space.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 secondsThat's right. Because it can just be you, doing the art and then, if you hate it, you can hit delete, it's fantastic. Yeah and you can either delete the one thing or use technology to help practice to get to a more skilled version of the thing that you want to do. Or it can help inspire you.

The power of the arts

John and Malinda have both been involved in the arts since they were young. In fact, the arts fundamentally transformed how they viewed themselves and how they felt they could communicate with the world.

After learning a little bit more about John and Malinda and their experiences with the arts, we would love to know: how have the arts shaped your own life? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Arts and Technology Teach-Out

University of Michigan

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: