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Mr. Holland's Opus
SUBJECTS — Music; U.S. 1945 - 1991;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Education; Male Role Model;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Citizenship; Caring.
Age: 10+; MPAA Rating: PG for mild language; Drama; 1995; 143 minutes; Color.
Mr. Holland's Opus is the heartwarming tale of the career and family life, the triumphs and tragedies of a music teacher. Mr. Holland is a musician who discovers his true vocation as a music teacher. He suffers some false starts with his students and as a husband and father. However, he faces the opportunities, challenges, and tragedies of his life with love and commitment.
This film is a "tear jerker" in the best sense: caring, disappointment, effort, hope, overcoming, failure, and acceptance tug at our heartstrings.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Mr. Holland's Opus, through helpful background information and discussion questions, will help teachers put the lessons of this movie into perspective.
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Mr. Holland's Opus will inspire children to play music and to teach. It shows boys the great advantage of being a nurturing and caring person.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Mr. Holland's Opus.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, lack of funds caused public schools across the United States to reduce spending on arts and music education. Many parents, students, and educators felt that this was shortsighted. Arts education has many positive effects: teaching discipline and teamwork and giving children an opportunity to excel. However, these are not the most important reasons for arts education.
The arts are fundamental to children's education and they are fundamental because the art is fundamental to human nature, to human beings. So I don't see the arts as an instrument primarily to teach something else. The primary reason why we need strong arts programs in the schools is because human beings are artists. One way we grapple with ideas is through the arts.
[Deborah Meier, founder of the innovative Central Park East School, a public school in New York City, and principal there for many years. Ms. Meier is shown making this statement in Small Wonders.]
The Learning Guide to the film Mr. Holland's Opus contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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