Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Music Education: A Lifelong Philosophy

By Marty Wimmer, Classical 94.5 WNED program host and public school music teacher

In recent years, Physical Education has been moving toward a philosophy of lifelong health and wellness. They're teaching more activities in which students can participate throughout adulthood, such as swimming, weight-training, aerobics, stretching, and nutrition.

Is Music Education adopting a parallel philosophy of lifelong participation in music? We often hear of high school seniors selling their musical instruments after graduation, or simply storing them in mom's basement where they never again see the light of day. After years of lessons, it seems a shame that an 18 year-old would think his or her music-making days were done.

It should be a goal of Music Education to teach that music-making can be
part of adult life. If it's only about preparing for the next concert, game, show or competition, Music Education is writing its own obituary as a profession and discipline in the schools. Music educators need to teach that participation in music has lifelong intellectual, physical, social, emotional and even economic value, just as physical education is doing. Otherwise the public may decide that music programs, though nice, aren't worth spending money on. In the current political climate, does anyone doubt that there are folks out there who want school music programs dismantled in order to save money? Physical Education has learned this. Has Music Education?

Here at WNED-TV, WBFO and Classical 94.5 WNED, we strive to bring all types of music into your life and encourage you and your family to participate in music-making. Blow the dust off that old trombone in mom's basement, get that old fiddle re-strung, join that community choir, and start making music again. You'll find it intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and maybe even economically stimulating!

1 comment:

  1. In Holland a lot of elementary schools get money from the government and sponsors to loan their students an instrument of their choice for the time they' re at school and teach them to play it. They start as soon as they begin school at four to encourage students to get to know the value of instruments not only to make music with but as a way to utter emotions and express themselves. The kids also learn that it's a skill to bexable to play an instrument and are proud of themselves. It's of such great value.