#1
My take on the importance of music education. Let me know what you think!


Why Your Kids Need Music

It amazes me that I even need to write this. Music has been an undeniably important part of humanity; From when the first humans were making primitive drum music, to the renaissance composers, to classic rock bands, to the modern pop stars. Unfortunately, in the day and age when musicians and music listeners have unlimited resources at their finger tips, music education has become increasingly ignored.
Schools across America have been removing their music programs. This is unfair to today's youth. They are missing out on an essential part of education that can positively impact all aspects of their lives. Children who play an instrument receive higher test scores in other school subject all the way through college, develop higher IQ's, and even live longer than children who do not play an instrument.
The negative impact of a declining emphasis on music education does not stop there; The quality of popular music is effected by this as well. The reason for this is that there is less of an appreciation for musicianship. People who have not been exposed to musical instruction are listening to music in the same manner that someone who has never learned to write would read a book. They are unable to appreciate what makes a song great, and they do not notice when they are being sold a song that has had little thought, and no heart or soul put into it.
America was once the country that packed clubs full of people who wanted to see amazing jazz improvisers, and the country that filled stadiums full of people to who wanted see guitar god's rip a solo after a vocalist belted out relatable and powerful lyrics about love, loss, and embracing the energy of being young. Now we are the country that shamelessly purchases music that follows one chord progression played by fake instruments with pitch corrected vocals placed over it. Something needs to change.
*blog address removed - 20Tigers*
#2
Quote by Wolfmansmusic
Children who play an instrument receive higher test scores in other school subject all the way through college, develop higher IQ's, and even live longer than children who do not play an instrument.


can you demonstrate causation?

Quote by Wolfmansmusic
The negative impact of a declining emphasis on music education does not stop there; The quality of popular music is effected by this as well. The reason for this is that there is less of an appreciation for musicianship. People who have not been exposed to musical instruction are listening to music in the same manner that someone who has never learned to write would read a book. They are unable to appreciate what makes a song great, and they do not notice when they are being sold a song that has had little thought, and no heart or soul put into it.


so they like music by a standard unlike your own? what a tragedy.

Quote by Wolfmansmusic
America was once the country that packed clubs full of people who wanted to see amazing jazz improvisers, and the country that filled stadiums full of people to who wanted see guitar god's rip a solo after a vocalist belted out relatable and powerful lyrics about love, loss, and embracing the energy of being young.


even if this were true, you contend that it was due to music education?

Quote by Wolfmansmusic
Now we are the country that shamelessly purchases music that follows one chord progression played by fake instruments with pitch corrected vocals placed over it. Something needs to change.


for one thing, nobody buys music anymore. second, what is a fake instrument? third, why does it matter if vocals are pitch corrected?

i understand you're a stuck up guitar player. maybe try to look at this from the perspective of someone with artistic integrity

Quote by Wolfmansmusic
blog address removed - 20Tigers


advertising is against the rules.

have a nice day.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#4
How about you let your kids do what they love and do your best as a parent to provide what they need to pursue it.
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#5
It's a big pile of bird shit. Except the part that playing an instrument improves IQ, which is half-true.

I'm pretty sure that metalheads in the 70's thought exactly the same of the quality of disco as metalheads nowadays think of club music.

Next to that, a great song with little thought behind the composing process is far better than a shitty song with a lot of thought behind the composing process. Some great musicians which have been considered to have great musicianship are non-schooled.

You're just forcing every reason.
#6
Come on guys, lighten up ... even a bit!

Here in UK, the government have openly proclaimed that music education via the so-called "Music hubs" has failed, but it's not clear why. We had a bit of a dialogue here on UG on why this might be (I was wondering if the situation is the same in the USA), and the main consensus was that the music /instrument options being presented to the kids (when they were at school) was just totally uninspiring / irrelevant to what they were into.

I don't really know how serious the impact is on musicians that they didn't get a "good" music education at school. I suspect that either folk get badly put off (which is a mega-shame) or they happily make their own way regardless. Personally, having see the current music curriculum for UK schools, it looks appalling, but creativity still happens all over the place, where it's obvious there's no real theoretical understanding, yet the music still sounds great.

I can't help wondering what would happen if more knowledge was easy to acquire, given how musical they already are.

What I 100% do believe in is that music theory should be made as accessible as possible to anyone that wants to learn (parts of) it, as regards the style(s) of interest, without having to trawl through a load of jargon and heartache around learning notation ... sure, they become important eventually, but I know a LOT of people that got put off completely precisely because of this.

It would be fascinating to know how wide spread this issue is, but it is immensely hard to find out, apparently.

I remember when I was living in Boston for a couple of years a way back being immensely impressed by the musicianship and musicality of the bands I was seeing then. Left me for dust, until some time later I finally knuckled down and studied music properly.

Mind you, I met the drummer from "The Cars" in the Ratskeller (I think that was its name), and he was so full of himself that I just said "never heard of your band" :-) He wasn't happy!

So yes, I hope that the situation isn't as dire as painted by the OP, but I really wouldn't be surprised if education is failing in this front.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 3, 2014,
#7
I've had a good amount of music training in my life. Started playing piano at the age of 6, had various music history and theory classes, etc. Now I'm a college drop out, I'm unemployed, and I'm living with my parents.


Music education is super great
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#9
I don't find that popular music is worse, and that's for lack of education. I don't find education has anything to do with appreciating music, really. Well not nothing, I'll explain later. It's like food. It's not that I am not an accomplished chef that means I'm a poor judge on food. I like it or I don't.

However, there can be an appreciation for the skill in doing something. It is like that in many things. In cooking, in film, man, we watch films and don't realize at all everything that went into it. And it is like that in music even.

It's a lot of talent and work to make pop music. That might be split with a vocalist and a songwriter, and a producer, but there is tremendous skill and talent there, even if the chord progression is basic, and it is simple from a theoretical point of view.

That said, it is a shame that people don't appreciate instrumentalism as much as they used to. Freestyle music. I find that is so beautiful an art form.

But that is not, to me, a reason to make kids learn music. I find some education is good for a number of reasons, but I don't think everyone should go to video editing school, or 3D animation school, or programming school, just so we can appreciate things better.

That's the life of an artist though. Months of work on a painting, so that someone goes, "oh ya, that's pretty cool" and goes on to something else. Or years of training and lots of work so that people say, "I don't like it."

It's just that way. How much you know, how much you trained, how intricate and difficult it is to prepare a food doesn't really matter to anyone. They eat it, and either like it or don't.

That's what it's all about at the end of the day I find. And I am that way with music as well. I sometimes find it difficult. The track in my sig, is nearly only 2 chords the whole way through.

One might say that sucks, on that principle alone, but it is not easy to loop 2 chords like that without it being so bland and monotonous. The rhythm there is key. And it is a little difficult in the sense that I know it is only 2 chords. But I like it that way, and it is difficult not to just change the chorus so that it is not simply 2 chords. It would be easy for me to just write another progression for the chorus, but it would change it, and I like it that way. I have to prevent the logical aspect of my analysis from changing what the emotional aspect likes.

It is not because something is simple that it is worse. And I don't think musical education makes better judges of what good music is either. I think it can even sometimes get in the way.

I will also say though, that a number of people think making music can be something like learning accounting. You just sign up at the school, they teach you, and then you can do it. But it is not that way I don't find. Some education, I think might teach that to a lot of people. There is this idea that it is easy, anyone can do it, all you need to do is get lucky. I don't believe that at all.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 4, 2014,
#10
Music ed is important but perhaps for the opposite of the reasons OP listed.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#11
Quote by Eastwinn


i understand you're a stuck up guitar player. maybe try to look at this from the perspective of someone with artistic integrity



Hahaha. Shut down.
#12
Oh, what a load of rubbish. I have met more than my fair share of fantastic musicians who are dumber than dirt. On the flip side I've met a great many tone deaf, rhythmically challenged, "no talent" people who could easily rub elbows with Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. The idea that music education is a key to academic success is as laughably stupid as the idea that being a practitioner of Judaism is a magical door to financial success.

And don't even get me started on how piss poor public school art programs are to start with. I say let them all go away, no one is suffering any great loss by their disappearance. Government bureaucrats are ill equipped to teach art of any kind.
#13
Quote by Second Rate


And don't even get me started on how piss poor public school art programs are to start with. I say let them all go away, no one is suffering any great loss by their disappearance. Government bureaucrats are ill equipped to teach art of any kind.


Agreed completely.
#14
Quote by Baby Joel
I've had a good amount of music training in my life. Started playing piano at the age of 6, had various music history and theory classes, etc. Now I'm a college drop out, I'm unemployed, and I'm living with my parents.


Music education is super great



I don't feel so bad about my position anymore lol.
#17
Quote by liampje
It's a big pile of bird shit.


I would have said horseshit, personally. It's bigger and smells worse.

The OP's entire "point" is that anyone who enjoys music that isn't up to whatever lofty standard he's set is too dumb to know that their preferences are wrong, and that music education is the key to keeping bands that he doesn't like out of the industry. Because once everyone has been properly educated, we'll no longer be fooled into enjoying Nickleback.

Like I said; horseshit. Now if you'll excuse me, I just bought We Are The In Crowd's latest album and haven't gotten to listen to it yet.