Monday, December 12, 2011

The Importance of Music Education

Music is my friend 
when I am lonely
music is the one and only 
thing that never ends

Music lives everywhere
can't escape it
can't replace it

Music is my life to me
music is what it is and will always be
Music is your strength
when you are weak
Music is your hope
when you are bleak

Music is made to be played
to fade
to serenade

Music is the gift everyone should give
music alone shall live 
("Music alone shall live", by U. ashley ogonor)

The idea I would like to convey, as expressed in the title of this post, can be no better expressed in the limited confines of language than if I was to shout at the top of my lungs like a madman.  This poem does a fantastic job of expressing that what is wanted be expressed cannot be expressed.  Can I even begin to name each individual person who's life was altered because of the gift of music he received as a child?  Is it possible to measure the quality of what music brings to a person?  Just one child's life can be changed forever because one person decided that he should learn an instrument.  This does not just apply for children in less affluent cities, but also for children in wealthier communities, for music affects everybody.  Children who suffer from inner anger, anxiety, and depression; children who cannot find a haven of peace and solitude for their souls, can easily find their inner happiness in the cradles of Mozart and Brahms.  Why is it that all the government budget cuts go straight to music and the arts?  Do people not appreciate the value of human life, that for some crazy reasons the soul comes second to the body?  Do the people running society even know what a soul is?  If you are a parent, all you have to do is sign your child up for music lessons; if you are an educator all you have to do is convince your school create a real music department; if you are a citizen of a city all you have to do is convince town leaders to create more budget funding for music and the arts; but most importantly if you are a person all you have to do is teach yourself the value of music.  A video which I have been inestimably influenced by is  Music of the Heart, a 1999 drama featuring Meryl Streep, in which a woman who has been going through very stressful times brings the gift of music to a school in East Harlem, New York which transforms the life of the children as well as her own.  It is an extremely inspiring movie and one that has made a big impression on me.  Just a few generations ago before the big technological wave of televisions and all the little gadgets that suck all the goodness out of life, music was a way of life for the masses.  People didn't need a course on proper conduct when listening to a piece of music, not did they need someone to "teach them how to appreciate music" - music was part of life.  As citizens who care about the future of our community, as parents who care about the future of our children, and as people who care for the future of humanity, it is crucial that we do not allow the music to go unheard.  

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