Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, Filmmakers Trophy, Special Jury Prize. The teachers and principal of St. Augustine's school, located in the poorest section of the South... See full summary »

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(as Emma Joan Morris)
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Tom Pilecki ...
Himself
Gary Schall ...
Himself
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Storyline

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, Filmmakers Trophy, Special Jury Prize. The teachers and principal of St. Augustine's school, located in the poorest section of the South Bronx, decide to commit to an arts curriculum where the arts, and especially music, are treated with the importance of any other academic subject. In the ensuing six years, enrollment triples, and reading and math scores improve dramatically. Told through interviews with students, teachers, and parents - with footage of the classroom, rehearsal, and performance. Written by Anonymous

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Documentary

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8 September 1993 (USA)  »

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A nice look at an inner-city school that actually works!
22 August 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have a natural prejudice towards this film, as I am a teacher in an arts immersion school much like the one shown in this film, though it's not in the inner-city. The philosophy of such schools is that involvement in the arts (in the case of the film, exclusively music) is extremely highly correlated to academic success.

In the case of this Catholic school in New York City, the school enrollment was way down, test scores were poor and there seemed to be no hope for the future. Then, when the school decided to become a school that emphasized music to facilitate learning, test scores increased dramatically, enrollment shot up and pride in the school and students naturally followed. It's a great recipe for the failing inner-city schools in our nation--so naturally, the lessons of this lovely film are generally ignored--which is so frustrating! The film gets high marks for presenting the program very positively--combining discipline with love and excellence. You'd have an awfully hard time finding a way to make this school look any better--a great job by the documentary makers.


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