WHY TEACH MUSIC?
By R.D. Mooney, Carmel Schools
I. MUSIC IS A SCIENCE: It is exact, specific, and must be 100% correct. It is unalterable. It demands absolute acoustics.
II. MUSIC IS MATHEMATICAL: It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time in space into fractions which must be done instantaneously and not worked out on paper.
III. MUSIC IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French. The notation of notes is not English, but a highly developed kind of shorthand.
IV. MUSIC IS HISTORY: Since music has always reflected the environment and times of its creation – often even the country or the racial feeling.
V. MUSIC IS PHYSICAL EDUCATION: It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back, stomach and chest muscles which must respond instantly to the sounds the ear hears and the mind interprets.
VI. MUSIC IS ALL OF THESE THINGS BUT MOST OF ALL MUSIC IS AN ART: It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technically boring (but fantastically difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion! That is the one thing science cannot duplicate – humanism or feeling or emotion or call it what you will.
THAT IS WHY WE TEACH MUSIC –
Not because we expect you to major in music
Not because we expect you to play music all your life
Not so you can relax
Not so you can have fun
Not so you can trot around the football field in a uniform
So you will be human
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So that you’ll have something to cling to
So that you will have more love, more passion, more gentleness, more
In short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live.
THAT’S WHY I TEACH MUSIC!
Music News New York State School