Join us at the Texas Fine Arts Summit XIX
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Meet the Summit XIX Presenters
Gladys Keeton
Gladys M. Keeton, Professor of Dance in the School of the Arts at Texas Woman's University since 1969 (presently Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor). Gladys received the Lifetime Achievement Award (Texas) from the National Dance Education Organization in November 2017. Professor Keeton teaches modern, ballroom, tap, cultural dance, children's dance, adapted dance, dance appreciation, interdisciplinary arts, pedagogy and supervisor of student teachers. She was founder, artistic director and performer of the TWU International Folk Dance Company for 37 years. The company performed and presented cultural lecture demonstrations for schools, conventions, civic and community events throughout Texas as well as out of state. Gladys is artist educator for the Texas Commission for the Arts conducting dance residencies in Texarkana for over 15 years emphasizing interdisciplinary learning for students and teachers in schools. She has also choreographed and conducted show choir and vocal dance workshops/summer camps at L.D. Bell High School, Denton High School, Springtown High School, Strickland Middle School, Guyer High School, Southwest State University, Texas Woman's University and elementary musicals. She choreographs for annual concerts and musicals, one of which received honorable mention from the Kennedy Center ACTF. Her scholarship includes over 200 presentations at national, district and state conventions. Gladys has authored two books and contributed to two other books. Recently, she was a co-writer for the Dance and Media Communication curriculum. Contributions to dance education are made through leadership positions in state, regional, and national organizations as well as being selected as a charter cadre member of the Texas Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, Texas Education Agency Fine Arts Advisory Panel, State Review Panel for Dance Textbook Adoption, the State Board for Educator Certification Dance Standards Review committee, TExES Dance Content Exam and presently Item Writer for the new TExES Dance Content Exam committees. Gladys has been a presenter for over 17 years at the CEDFA Fine Arts Summit and Pre-Summits. She also conducts In-Service and Staff Development workshops for fine arts and classroom teachers in the public schools of Texas on a variety of topics. Recognition includes TAHPERD Brace Award (most prestigious award), Dance Heritage, Outstanding University Dance Educator, Honor, and PEPI Awards, Southern District AAHPERD Outstanding University Dance Educator Award, the Texas Dance Educator Association Hall of Fame Award, Drill Team Directors of America Lifetime Award and the Association for Retarded Citizens Outstanding Service Award. Other Awards include the TWU Distinction in Service and Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards, Outstanding Young Women of America Award, and the Association for Retarded Citizens Outstanding Service Award.

Conceptual Teaching takes Fine Arts to a Higher Level

Concept-based curricula take learning to a higher level as students analyze, synthesize and generalize from facts to high level knowledge. We need to move from the practice of teaching isolated facts and skills to approaches that attempt to have the learner understand and integrate experiences, see patterns and relationships and make connections. This approach is referred to as "Conceptual Teaching and Learning." This workshop will be organized in four parts:

  • approaches to concept teaching,

  • the value of concept teaching in large groups

  • time spent teaching concepts during rehearsals and performance, and

  • implication for fine arts education curricula.


Conceptual teaching does not detract from performance goals but on the contrary, performance may be enhanced.



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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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