"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Thinking about listening to music

Cigarettes and cold beer.

Earl Grey Tea and warm apricot scones.

Ponder awhile or answer in a hot minute.

Bach and blues.

As adults, we can choose to engage the spectrum of experience.

Why is it that so often we insist on presenting children with only one side of things, when it comes to music? And too often, the dreadful mockery of childhood which is called 'children's music'?

It's not that way in life: different pleasures for different moments. As in life, so in music class: lots and lots and lots of different kinds of music. Fill those ears with a wide variety of sounds, of ways that people express emotions through lyrics and sound pictures.

Zoltan Kodaly said something along these lines: one moment can affect a child for a lifetime of music. It's the duty of the school to provide it.

He's right. But not in the watered-down textbook versions of folk tunes and jazz and rock. Let's give kids the real stuff. Who knows where that could lead?

Towards a classroom full of kids who are eager to debate the various merits of different styles, certainly. A classroom full of people who are on fire about music and dance. And maybe...just maybe...a classroom full of people for whom the process of saturating their lives with music begins, with the real thing, in all its glorious lively panoply.

Just sayin'.

1 comment:

Paul Overton said...

Preach, Sister! Preach!