One idea I keep coming back to in my mind from reading Dewey is this.

Actually, let me back up. My prob is that I keep thinking that Dewey is defining all experiences as art and it is confusing me. Does that mean that walking down the street is art if you have had an esthetic experience?

NO! I don’t think so.

By way of discussions I have realized my problem. I am trying too hard to figure out what art is according to experience. I need forget about or at least de-emphasize the word art and emphasize the word experience. When people have an esthetic experience it can then lead to art making.

I wonder now, about how so many people are intimidated by art in various forms: visual, musical, poetic, dramatic, that in story, etc. I guess that is why I previously offered the idea of introducing the skill of recognizing experiences to my students and drawing their attention to those that stand out as esthetic.

Be de-emphasizing the art, and bringing their attention to the experience, you can then show them (whomever that may be: students, peers, children, adults) how the emotion brought forth by esthetic experiences can lead us to making great art that is personal and real and worthy of making!

Dewey's Art as Experience
The Music-Literacy Connection