October 11, 2010
F-K The School Districts: Get Your Kids Connected To Music Quickly & OftenOften, I hear my neighbor's kids (2 gorgeous little girls) practice piano - piano teachers & parents make you do that. Every time I hear them practice (daily), I think back to the umpteen years my piano teacher and parents made me do that. Yes, forced it on me. If I didn't practice, I couldn't go out and play, weekend play was limited, friend-time was limited, phone time eliminated and well, the list goes on.
It's not as if I came from a upper class wealthy family with tons of rules and regulations. (NOT). But, I did come from a family with standards on what 'makes a life' and music was high on the list.
The sound of a piano playing in the background, a voice accompanying it, a guitar when we could find one, a flute or a sax or a trombone (which my grandfather played) a welcome addition.
For anyone who has gone through the process in the states or elsewhere, you know the drill. They paid for those damn lessons and you better deliver. I remember how much I resented it at the time and it had nothing to do with the fact that I didn't love to play nor the fact that I didn't love music. It was the thought of failure and not delivering et al.
Yet yet yet, I think about this often and am reminded of it when I hear my neighbors kids banging away. If you have kids who are not playing an instrument, for crying out loud, WHY NOT? Don't wait for the schools (who clearly don't get the value). Just do it. They're your kids, not the government's kids. I posted this on Facebook and someone responded right away with this:
"This is a big issue in our school district, where the administration axed 4th-5th grade music entirely, and it was restored through private donations; the high school music teacher (one for a HS of c. 1,000 kids) was despairing he'd see the beginning of his pipeline dismantled."
Okay, then? F-K the schools. Sorry, but seriously, move on. Get your kids close to music and do it quickly and early. Don't wait for the 'school district' who is focused on too many of the wrong things. Just get your kids close to music AND connected to it. It's not expensive to make this choice if you're creative and you most certainly won't regret it.
Below is a shot I took of an old piano in La Basilica in Quito Ecuador in late August.
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