Join us at the Texas Fine Arts Summit XIX
Get Your Summit XIX Schedule Here!
Mary Ellen (mel) Basham
Mary Ellen (mel) Basham currently serves Texas Art Education Association as President, Region 6 VASE Juror Foreman and Distinguished Fellow. Mel is also a member of the CEDFA Cadre. After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Sam Houston State University, Mel began her teaching career in Aldine Independent School District where she developed an Advanced Placement Art History and Studio Art Program at MacArthur High School. After 18 years of teaching, she retired from Shepherd Independent School District where she taught Art 1-4 and was National Art Honor Society sponsor. Mel has also worked with young children as daycare owner/director and dance instructor. As an art educator, she believes teaching process is the most valuable lesson for students. Her philosophy is summarized in this quote by Claudia Betti: "In life as in art, the process is the point. If you take care of the process, the end product will take care of itself." As a practicing artist, Mel relates to Robert Henri's quote: "I am not interested in art as a means of making a living, but I am interested in art as a means of living a life. It is the most important of all studies and all other studies are tributary to it."

Creative ART Collaboration with Paper, Pen, Pencil, Paint

Join us as we share a variety of ideas to build student success and encourage participation in your art studio/classroom.

Each creative process will extend to another as we expand the possibilities for student collaboration.
Students will work in the style of Kandinsky, experiencing process and connecting to Art History.

We will investigate Mid Century Modern techniques and learn ways to develop a single art assignment into a whole class collaboration.

Text will be incorporated with imagery to add student voice and personal connection to each image.

Bring your favorite pencils, pens, markers and art quotes to share and be part of the Creative Collaboration that will be meaningful and fun!


See all the Pre-summit information...
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New Fine Arts TEKS charts

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Simply download the order form here, complete, and send with your payment. Fast and easy.

Click the picture and Order your new TEKS posters for the fine arts

Click the picture and Order your new TEKS posters for the fine arts

Learning, Arts, and the Brain

The report is sponsored by the Dana Foundation Arts and Cognition Consortium. It is a collaboration of studies conducted by neuroscientists representing seven universities from across the United States pertaining to the association of arts training and higher academic performance. The consortium’s findings provide an understanding of the possible causal relationships between arts training and the ability of the brain to learn in other cognitive domains. The results of the studies should be helpful to students, parents, educators, and the general public in policy-making decisions as related to the importance of high quality arts education in our schools.

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Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood helps Reasoning Skills

A Harvard-based study has found that children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training – not only in tests of auditory discrimination and finger dexterity (skills honed by the study of a musical instrument), but also on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion (skills not normally associated with music).

While these results are correlational only, the strong predictive effect of training duration suggests that instrumental music training may enhance auditory discrimination, fine motor skills, vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning. Alternative explanations for these results are discussed.

PLOS ONE publication archives of the October, 2008, report.
Download the PDF report

Multi-year Music Training Can Enhance Reading Skills and Literacy

Children exposed to a multi-year program of music instruction involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers, according to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music. According to authors Joseph M. Piro and Camilo Ortiz from Long Island University, data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy.

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