A Carpenter ear worm


This weekend’s ear worm is Karen Carpenter’s version of Rainbow Connection, specifically this verse:

Who said that wishes would be heard and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it, and look what it’s done so far.

Someone was first with the idea that if he wished on a star and believed, that his wish would come true. He created this idea from two disparate objects — a wish and a star — out of nothing other than his imagination. At some point, he shared his fragile idea with someone else. And that someone else had a choice to either embrace it as a fantastic idea and fan it… or belittle it, ridicule it and kill it.

In that ever brief moment, the spark of a creative idea took hold. It was fanned with nothing more than a human belief that could not be verified. No ROI was produced, no matrices were created to measure against; just a spark of human thought against the wonder of the world that surrounded the thinker.

While frantically running errands on Thursday afternoon before our industrialized world decided that it would shut down at 5:00pm, I caught the middle of a discussion on NPR where a guest was talking about how music and arts are being systematically removed from school curriculum in favor of more STEM classes to comply with No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. (I can’t find the program; npr.org stinks as a curation site.) What we are doing is creating generations of human beings who do not value art or music.

What we are losing is the ability to create, recognize and fan the spark of creativity.

I’m going out right now to wish really hard on a star. Join me.

Enjoy the video.


PS Just as he starts to play the piano, watch Richard smile slightly. I’ll bet someone said something like, “You can’t perform a hit song on a toy piano!” How many times have creative people heard something couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be done. How many times a day do you hear it?

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This blog post is part of a blog-off series with a group of bloggers from different professions and world views, each exploring a theme from his/her world view. This was about exploring the theme, That song stuck in your head To explore how others handled the theme, check them out below. I will add links as they publish.

7 Replies to “A Carpenter ear worm”

  1. Karen Carpenter had such a pure voice. I don’t care for all of their music, but it was always done well, if that makes any kind of sense! You’re quite right on the need for keeping the arts and music in school. I personally am very thankful for the education I received in the fifties and early sixties, simply because that sort of thing is no longer being done in school, and we are all the poorer for it.

  2. Two others that have that pure voice, IMO of course: Carly Simon and Belinda Carlisle. We do appear to be systematically destroying the arts in education…

  3. The National Governors Association for Best Practices published the National Core standards, which 45 states have adopted as the basics for education K-12. Not one of those puppies cover any music or art. In a world which creativity fuels inventive technology, we are teaching our children systematic thinking…systematic processes..are more important to learn then thinking outside the box. Social Media sites, HTML 5, and Google Earth…are just a few of technology based products that would never exist with out creative thinking fostered by arts and music.

  4. I found the study at http://www.corestandards.org for anyone who wants to wade through it.

    It is language like this that is most disturbing: “While the Standards focus on what is most essential, they do not describe all that can or should be taught. A great deal is left to the discretion of teachers and curriculum developers. The aim of the Standards is to articulate the fundamentals, not to set out an exhaustive list or a set of restrictions that limits what can be taught beyond what is specified herein.”

    We all know that is bull crap as teachers are being evaluated more and more to what the students are learning rather than what is being taught. Math is easy to quantify, easy to measure whereas art and music? that is hard work. Teachers are being given scores which are being published in places New York … like the FICO Scores we all get which are supposed to be used to determine creditworthiness, not for employment or insurance or the thousand other things it is used for. Why would anyone want to teach art when the score they get that determines their salary, their employment status or respect is going to be low because it is hard to measure? Nobody.

    Our education system is systematically destroying teachers and by extension, an entire generation of kids all under the guise of “education reform.” We are systematically stripping out all those things that make us human like art and music and play.. why?? Because those things are hard to measure.

    There are no words for the rage I am feeling right now because of this.

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