Ben Perry

Brisbane Boys' College

This conversation is closed.

More Music in Schools?

As a firm believer in the power of music to inspire and instill a sense of worth withing people, I want to know what fellow Tedsters believe. It is my experience that music brings out the best in people, it can inspire people to show sides of them that most others would never know about and it has been used in the past by many powers to do just this.

My question is this: As music (especially acoustic music) has the ability to bring out the best in people and genuinely inspire them to make a difference for the better (such as the talks I've tagged), do you think that such music should have a much more prominent place in our schools, especially in the senior years?

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    Mar 5 2011: One of my friends said, music is world's oldest simulator. With the music you can get out from this world, and step into other universe. In that universe you behave differently, think differently. Everybody needs music.
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    Mar 1 2011: The problem is (and I see it first hand working in a school) that music and indeed the arts in general are something you do when you have finished your (real) work. Maths, English and so on. My question is, (as a person who trained as an actor and works actively in the industry) what does one do if they want to have a life in the entertainment industry? Do they put that on hold until they have their (real) education and then do that in their spare time. The Arts and as is the case with this strand Music should be considered a legitimate part of a child's education and not the thing they do in their spare time.

    The problem is we are too stuck in the past industrial model of education and not willing to accept the fact that it does not work.
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      Mar 2 2011: Hi Lee, my environment might encourage you to see the mathematics and history in your passion for music while we dialogue about it in English (or our second or third language). Academic happiness can be achieved while integrating a core knowledge. Scholastic liberty is essential. Traditional institutions will have a hard time adjusting to this concept.
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    Mar 1 2011: As a musician, I firmly believe that music should be integrated into every aspect of education, because that's what music does--it integrates. It shouldn't be separated as an "after-school activity" or even a subject. Music is so much more than a subject; it's a way of life and a way of finding the ability to see musical aspects in everything (math, poetry, history, the way the world works.) We need to stop limiting left and right brains and instead combine them to make a beautiful model of humanity. Music is the perfect tool for this.
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      Mar 6 2011: "make a beautiful model of humanity" ! I appreciate your sensible comments.In 1904,China 's qing government asked every shool throughout a whole country to have music class.If you were in those years a chinese,you had known that music was totally different like any other.Music was consided as the best way of what changed the character of the children.Acording to public opinion,Music was destined to save the nation.
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    Feb 26 2011: yes I agree with you too. Music plays a very big role in educating the taste of humans. it helps concentrating, having a good mood, beside of relaxing in the storm of brain working in math and languages.
    in addition to raising our personalities away from noise and rushing life.
    thanks you for bringing this up
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    Mar 8 2011: Absolutely, music should be part of everyone's life. I didn't get an opportunity to learn how to play any instrument and it is definitely something that is missing in my life.
    Let's work so next generations are not deprived of music education!
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    Mar 6 2011: I am in agreement with those who come before me in this conversation. Yes, there should be more music in schools. I admire cultures where music is integral to their community experience. Latino traditions of music and dance, African communities that begin and end each school day with drumming, singing, and dance, and others--beautiful. Music is good for humans.
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    Mar 5 2011: Through music Mathematics can be taught, as well as Literature. I can easily imagine PE incorporated with music's rhythms as well. Sure it's just one of the ways to approach it but having in mind all the research about how we can increase our potential by turning tedious tasks into games, it might well be worth a try.
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    Mar 5 2011: Music should be made available for those that want it. Music can be many things.

    Sense of self.
    Provoider of structure
    to name a few.
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    Mar 5 2011: I don't call myself a musician. I played the clarinet until the tenth grade, well enough to do reasonably well in my music course, and left it behind in the years following in order to take biology, chemistry, and calculus. Looking back on this now, I think I would have learned a lot more in music class than I would have in physics.
    I've found that music has applications far beyond scales, and tone, and pitch, and it wasn't until I stopped taking music that I discovered this. I found that my knowledge of how my own instrument worked helped me grasp concepts in the physics class I chose to take instead of music. I found that having spent years listening to the percussionists behind me helped me keep timing better than most of the other skaters at my figure skating club. I found that I was better at working in groups than I thought I was, having unconsciously done so in order to be a productive member of the high school band. I found that I was a more comfortable public speaker, having played a handful of first clarinet parts on my own and learned to do so unashamedly.
    In short: yes. Music should be made mandatory further into the senior years of school, because having chosen to stop, I really wish I hadn't. Music class teaches so much more than what is in the course description.
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    Mar 4 2011: The common misconception is that music and art in general is purely for pleasure. That needs to be weeded out. Music is nothing but an application of math and science in art. I never had music education when i was in school (in fact very few schools in my country encourage it seriously) and I've noticed students miss out a lot when they're not involved in musical activities. Music teaches discipline, teamwork and most importantly creativity and its high time schools give importance to this aspect of education.
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    Mar 3 2011: Wow Guys! Thanks for all your feedback!
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    Mar 2 2011: My fondest memories in life are singing in my high school chorus in the 1960s. It took one class period (instead of phys ed.) We rehearsed after hours a lot, but it was something to which I always gave my best effort. Everyone should have an opportunity to do something that elicits ones best effort.
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    Mar 2 2011: Being active in a public high school band program, I am fully in support of more music in schools. I would like to bring up a quote that struck me as particularly accurate.

    ‎"Should we not be putting all our emphasis on reading, writing and math? The ‘back-to-basics curriculum,’ while it has merit, ignores the most urgent void in our present system – absence of self-discipline. The arts, inspiring – indeed requiring – self-discipline, may be more ‘basic’ to our nation survival than traditional credit courses. Presently, we are spending 29 times more on science than on the arts, and the result so far is worldwide intellectual embarrassment."
    - Paul Harvey

    More than self discipline, music entertains the mind's creativity.

    I know that my school has very little funding. The funding has been cut so severely that one of my band directors used $2000 of his own money to buy some much needed percussion instruments. It is a shame that education funding is the first thing governments cut. However It is an even more sad that the first thing that individual schools cut is the music program. It is important for students to develop and grow through music, as it is the most productive educating tool available. At least that is my experiences. It would be fairly accurate to say everything I need to know I learned through music.
  • Feb 22 2011: I agree with you, Nafissa. I think that listening good music makes us more intelligent and gives us more opportunities in our life. If we listened a good and rich music in our childhood, in the future our personality would be more rich.
    • Feb 22 2011: Music belongs in all our lives. All the time. All the grades. And in the workplace. Music changes lives. It lifts our spirits.It can speak in an international language without words to inspire and elevate and remind us of the primal beat of the heart. Music makes us move, cry and giggle. I am fortunate to work in the arts and on occassion we bring Grammy award-winning musicians (and dancers and actors) into the classrooms. We also invite public, private and home-schooled children to workshops with performers. Those are my favorite "work" days. Teachers are reminded of the joy of trying new things-- when the Turtle Island String Quartet comes and performs not Bach but Dylan/Hendricks with ".. Watchtower." Everyone was inspired and in awe. Music is a kind of alchemy available to all. It can easily be placed in a classroom without a vote by a school board. Start in a modest fashion....just bring in a radio. More music in schools? Absolutely!
  • Feb 22 2011: Yes, of course!!!
    This world would be better if there were more music classes in schools, there is no doubt.
    I think that there should be more music classes, and work in different ways with children. It would be very rich for people´s humanity and personal development.
    I also think that dancing would be very interesting at different ages in schools. I would develop a better relationship with ourselves and our colleges.