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MY case for music education
#3027204 02/02/20 03:35 AM
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J. Dan Offline OP
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Somebody online was complaining how people tell professional musicians who complain about their income that they should have picked a career that was more lucrative, mainly STEM based. The counter case suggested depriving all society of any art including music for a month and see how they feel. Add in all the stories of AI generated music and all the conversations we have here on new vs old music and everything else.

People either don't appreciate music or prefer bad music because they don't know any bette. For me, the reason for music education isn't to have more good musicians, but to have a population that understands and appreciates music. It's not just to grow our community, but to grow our market.


Dan

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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027206 02/02/20 03:44 AM
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Yes, of course. Music is for everyone - and children most of all because they grow up to be adults with discerning ears for the music they enjoy - to listen to and to make.


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027228 02/02/20 02:08 PM
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Everyone who is good at and cares about their profession, whatever the profession (including STEM based), grows frustrated by the lack of understanding by the general public. Some people who don't care see an opportunity in an undiscerning public, and can even get rich. Of course, they want those who are good at their profession to follow them on this path, usually resulting in a conflict. The people who care (again, in any profession) hope that more education will help the situation, but it doesn't often play out like we want. It's pretty difficult for the population to become discerning at everything. Fortunately there are folks out there who share the passion, but the marketplace for it, it seems, will always be limited.


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027230 02/02/20 03:06 PM
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Agree. Music education (certainly at "high school" level) is important for exactly the reasons Dan mentions - not because our economy "needs" more professional musicians.

Regards, Mike.


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027259 02/02/20 09:15 PM
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I've been really, and pleasantly, surprised at how many kids are taking band in middle school where I live. My kids have been to two different middle schools and the bands have been huge...and I'm very impressed with the teachers. They got those kids playing some tough music VERY quickly. My oldest is now finishing high school and he's a "band kid"--as a parent, a great thing smile Those kids are simply amazing and it helps offset how much I hate going to a club and seeing a band running a bunch of tracks...perhaps music isn't quite dead.

Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027262 02/02/20 10:14 PM
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Have to agree. When I was in college I needed a humanities course so I signed up for Music Appreciation class. It exposed me to classical music I had not heard, and set me on a course to seek out music that doesn't get mass exposure. If you don't live near a large metropolitan area, you're missing out on a LOT of good music.

I think EVERY grade school in the US should have a music appreciation class.

Re: MY case for music education
The Real MC #3027288 02/03/20 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Have to agree. When I was in college I needed a humanities course so I signed up for Music Appreciation class. It exposed me to classical music I had not heard, and set me on a course to seek out music that doesn't get mass exposure. If you don't live near a large metropolitan area, you're missing out on a LOT of good music.

I think EVERY grade school in the US should have a music appreciation class.


Hear hear. There are two kinds of problem solving: mechanical and abstract. The mechanical is ongoing and directly addressable by RTFM, linear progression and practice. Abstraction teaches you fluidity and the ability to view things from several angles. I've had the abstract feed the mechanical to a surprising degree. Therefore, its doing kids a real disservice to set aside that aspect of school. Once you've been guided through some classical, jazz styles and tight bands such as Zappa's or U.K., it can't help but add a vital dimension to your problem-solving capacity. He claimed. puff


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027418 02/03/20 08:24 PM
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My girlfriend (who I love dearly) is a typical uneducated music fan...she liked what she liked and never thought much about it beyond if she could dance to it. Then she moved in with me and heard me practice bass along to the recording and said "Oh, so that's what the bass sounds like." laugh

When I go see a band I often find it hard to just enjoy the band...my inner musician (and I'm not really that good) spends too much time analyzing the musicianship or the mix. I wonder if a musical education would be wasted on her or her friends? Would they start getting picky and enjoy it less?

Re: MY case for music education
PrairieGuy #3027427 02/03/20 09:22 PM
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[quote=PrairieGuyWhen I go see a band I often find it hard to just enjoy the band...my inner musician (and I'm not really that good) spends too much time analyzing the musicianship or the mix. [/quote]This.

I'm off to Vegas next week for my company's annual kick-off conference. There's a party for us on Wednesday night, and I fully expect to hear a really good live band with the kick drum turned up far too high and EQ-boosted at about 200Hz. Every year, same thing, same mix. It's as if there's a standard "Vegas Corporate Mix" where the aim is to try and demonstrate how much air the PA can move.

Of the 750ish of us, I think I'm the only one who cares.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027436 02/03/20 10:15 PM
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Well said Dan.

Kids should receive a fully balanced education, including all the Arts.

Alas in my Country education is being dumbed down so a very high percentile will obtain an A in each subject.

Exams are frequently multiple choice.

My Wife is a degree qualified Art Historian and rampant book collector so between us we have Art covered and our Grandkids are encouraged to be creative.


Col
Re: MY case for music education
stoken6 #3027449 02/04/20 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by stoken6
I fully expect to hear a really good live band with the kick drum turned up far too high and EQ-boosted at about 200Hz.


This is every show I have seen for the last 45 years. redwall


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3027459 02/04/20 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
Somebody online was complaining how people tell professional musicians who complain about their income that they should have picked a career that was more lucrative, mainly STEM based. The counter case suggested depriving all society of any art including music for a month and see how they feel. Add in all the stories of AI generated music and all the conversations we have here on new vs old music and everything else.

People either don't appreciate music or prefer bad music because they don't know any bette. For me, the reason for music education isn't to have more good musicians, but to have a population that understands and appreciates music. It's not just to grow our community, but to grow our market.


I agree with you.

I would also like to see chess, some form of billiards/pool, and "drum, dance and sing time" for the youngsters.

I am friends with a Lummi Nation elder and know many of his family and relatives. EVERYBODY sings and dances, it is part of their lives.They do not feel inhibited about these natural, inherently human behaviors, in fact it is a form of freedom for them. I wish I had been brought up that way, I would probably be a much better singer now.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3045309 05/22/20 12:11 PM
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Some people don't understand that without music, life can be empty. Actually, education in the field of art isn't good enough. At my online music lesson, I try to explain to people how music is essential. I also write some free essay examples for Samplius on the theme of art, music, and so on. I hope that the students during the preparation of their assignments with https://samplius.com/free-essay-examples/life/ can understand that not everything is measured by money. We can have famous and rich authors of bad and "one-day" music, but we don't know the authors of excellent music.

Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3045310 05/22/20 12:59 PM
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Anyone here familiar with Waldorf education? My daughter went to Waldorf schools almost her entire life (she started college last fall). They start you playing pentatonic flutes in 1st grade. String instruments in 3rd grade. Everyone is required to play. Music, art, and theatre are integral to the curriculum. Their senior play was the Ferryman by Jez Butterworth, a weighty drama about the IRA and the "troubles" in Northern Ireland. They've also done Shakespeare and West Side Story. My daughter is way smarter than her dad the musician too – she's majoring in Neurobiology! (And a straight-A student to boot. Ok, kvelling done for now!).

Re: MY case for music education
PrairieGuy #3045317 05/22/20 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Math&Music
Everyone who is good at and cares about their profession, whatever the profession (including STEM based), grows frustrated by the lack of understanding by the general public.
Absolutely, but I think there are shades and nuances of "understanding." Theoretically, we make sure everyone in our society learns to read, not with the anticipation that they'll all become authors or even literature students, but so they can speak a common language. Many other countries make sure everyone learns at least a second actual, verbal language (the US isn't the best at that, one might argue that our language education is a similar priority to our music education... though that's coming from someone who works in both of those fields, so take what you will). Again, that's not in the curriculum so that everyone can become linguistics professors or ambassadors or interpreters, it's to maximize understanding and comprehension of shared human experience.

In my mind, communication, critical thinking, and broad cultural literacy aren't "soft" concepts or luxuries. They're about history, really. Having a baseline for where we come from, why things are the way they are. Otherwise, there's no growth, no innovation, no evolution of the species. Understanding a process on some level has always led to a greater appreciation of a product. indeed, I think there's been great damage done by the cultural myth that learning music theory, or how to read music, or doing anything other than Teaching Yourself, is weak, and will damage your Inner Genius -- but then again, you could argue that those ideas were partially a reaction to a decades or even centuries of dogmatic formal music instruction that emphasized pedantry over discovery and creativity.

None of this is really to the benefit of politicians or advertisers, but that's my case for it.
Originally Posted by PrairieGuy
When I go see a band I often find it hard to just enjoy the band...my inner musician (and I'm not really that good) spends too much time analyzing the musicianship or the mix. I wonder if a musical education would be wasted on her or her friends? Would they start getting picky and enjoy it less?
My high school band director described your experience as a "busman's holiday" -- as in, when a bus driver goes on vacation, how does he get away from work? Eh, maybe that was funnier back when more people had to take buses... anyway, in quarantine, I've been digging really hard into standup comedy, because it's an art form I enjoy and appreciate, but not something I actively participate in. My enjoyment of watching, listening to, or playing music has been up and down with my alternating calmness and depression.

But I don't think that's the same as your girlfriend and her friends gaining a greater understanding of what goes into making music. Might their tastes become more discerning? Would they enjoy certain performances less? Either is possible... I had never had a good steak or nice red wine before I met my wife, and now those are two of my favorite things. I don't enjoy a Wendy's burger any less for my appreciation of a medium rare New York strip... but there is wine that used to do it for me that I won't drink anymore. So who's to say. wink


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Re: MY case for music education
J. Dan #3045319 05/22/20 01:36 PM
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Back when I was considering a career in education I read about a few approaches in education that differed radically from what we are doing (and have been doing the same way for a long, long time). I tend to think a more "holistic" approach to education might work a lot better. More arts, more emphasis on critical thinking in real situations, and I dare say more work on how to handle yourself when working in groups. The problem: we have to have grades and numbers to show who is doing a good or bad job (both teachers and students). All that touchy-feely stuff that might actually be a better way to prepare people for life sometimes doesn't make for the simple evaluation that everyone wants.

Add in sports too. Band and sports have been absolutely great for my kids--not that they are stars in sports, but it's taught teamwork and it's never bad to get some exercise! PE shouldn't be optional, but it also shouldn't be half-assed (like mine was way back when).

I hate it when I hear "America is one of the worst countries on tests, look at China" etc. My wife grew up in China and I now know a fair bit about their system. They spend all day in school, and have tons of homework. (I absolutely think homework for most students is worthless and creates more work for everyone.) Learning means memorizing facts and figures. It is a spelling bee approach to education. But hey they do awesome on standardized testing, congrats? And that teaches you to function in your work or your life? Does rote memorization help with critical thinking or help people learn to innovate? I'd say no. I do find it amusing that many of our Chinese friends here seem to be perpetually in college--not that it's a bad thing really but being in school is what they know and they feel comfortable there!

--

I definitely understand the "can't enjoy it anymore" thing. I now can let it go and enjoy, but back when I was learning and then working as a recording engineer there was no way I'd enjoy a band or song with a "bad" mix grin Wasn't on purpose, but I'd be picking it apart as I listened..."wow those vocals are compressed" etc.

Last edited by Stokely; 05/22/20 01:45 PM.

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