Monday, April 03, 2006

The crisis in schools music

Telegraph Arts Discord that drowns out the real crisis in schools music

This was an article I found written by Jullian Lloyd Webber. I actually discussed this with him when we met last month and interestingly people in the audience at the workshop asked about this subject.

It is one very close to my heart and I do despair at the standards that are being required for examinations in Scotland despite Julain's very complimentary remarks on the health of music in Scotland. We are lowering the standard all the time and the latest example of that is you only need play to an ASS. Board level grade4 to pass your higher music. Most children who start in Primary school and are well taught will reach that standard by the end of their time there. What is the point in them doing music as a subject. Most schools will not now teach them any theory of substance and the rules of harmony have just been forgotten. If you are an at all talented musician and are wanting to do this for a living then there ios no point in taking music as a subject. This lowering of standards is self-perpetuating thing as well. There is a need for music teachers in schools but because of the standard of the music students now we have teachers who are less musically able than half of their pupils!! The teacher refer to excerpts of melodies by the "Greats" in such terms as "The tune from the Hovis advert" instead of Dvoraks "New World Symphony". This is, much to my horror because that teacher was told the same thing when they were at school!

This does not happen in other subjects such as Maths and English. That is no easier now than it was when I was at school. Why is it? My belief is that because Maths and English are core subjects that all children must do then it is properly taught and to a high standard. Music tries to attract the lowest common denominator and the result is rubbish!! My view as well as Julian Lloyd Webber and other good musicians is we are failing our children by not exposing them early enough to the great music of this world when the child, as in my eldest son, can then go on and develop their own tastes but by having a little understanding of the subject they can make a much better, informed choice.

No comments: