Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse Program

Committee Chair

Dorothy Morrison

Commitee Members

James Kriley, Randy Bolton


African, drum, high school, music


University of Montana


Johns, Philip M., MA. Fine Arts, July 2007 Integrated Arts and Education Creation of the Big Sky African Ensemble Chairperson: Dorothy Morrison In my final creative project, my primary goal was to reshape and redefine an existing course at Big Sky High School and in so doing to reshape and redefine myself as an artist. In the process of creating the African ensemble, I had to examine the cannons of my formal musical training to include an exploration of new avenues of expression and creativity. I had to creatively problem solve and overcome many obstacles while developing and maintaining a viable high school course. The changes I endured helped to reshape my artist self. Through my experience in preparing my final creative project, I learned I have the skills to develop and implement an arts' curriculum in which I could actively participate and grow as an artist and teacher. I gained insight into areas of myself and career which had remained dormant or undiscovered. While I developed technical skills and gained proficiency as a hand drummer, organizer and orchestrator, I made the philosophical discovery which cuts to the heart of my endeavors. The discovery that artists can change lives. I had always been told I was changing lives, but at some deep level I thought it was simply a cliche„S until I witnessed the transformation of my students take place before my very eyes. Through my project, I have given voice and place, not only to myself, but to the many troubled students who pass in and out of my charge.



© Copyright 2007 Philip Michael Johns