TOK day was one of my favorite TOK lessons all year. We learnt about the arts, more specifically music and visual arts. We had a presentation on each subject and completed some activities that helped enhance our understanding of each.
In the music presentation by Mr. Birse, we tried to understand how different types of music could invoke different emotions in us. We found that there are similarities in how people think and react to the same piece of music even though we are so different. However, we all go to the same school so maybe if we compared people from different schools who lead very different lives from us they may react to the same piece differently. I think that music could potentially be a common language between people because technique and technical skills wise we all learn the same notes. But interpretation of a piece of music isn’t universal. But I think that is the same for all languages. For example, English or Chinese, interpretation of a piece of literature about it can be subjective. Whether or not music is derived from nature and the laws of physics could be true. But then everything has a root from somewhere and right now I can’t really think of anything that doesn’t derive from nature. Even man-made things have inspiration from nature.
The art presentation by Ms. Goss was very interesting. It’s very different from the kind of art that I was taught in primary school. But I like this kind of art much better. I had always thought that art was used to express the artist’s thoughts and emotions and I was very confused when my teacher told me my artwork was not good enough. I thought, “How can she possibly know what I’m thinking and why is hers so much better than mine?” But from Ms. Goss’s presentation I learnt that there are some technical skills that determine the “quality” of a piece of artwork but it is still open to interpretation and subjective points of views. I personally, never quite understood the craze of the Mona Lisa. And I still don’t. So that’s one thing I think I may need to look into. Why people like it so much. Some questions brought up for example, should art be relevant to today’s society? I think that it can be but it doesn’t have to be because an artist capturing times from before or after from the perspective they live in now is quite interesting and why isn’t it art?
So to sum up, the arts are very interesting and I know really wish I could take one of those subjects because I think it could really help my creativity and imagination to just see things from another median and not just words from a textbook.