[...]I have come to understand that music is not part of "arts and entertainment" as the newspaper section would have us believe. It's not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we can't with our minds.Read the whole thing; it's worth your time. And if you're in an area where the schools are considering cutting back on fine arts classes, please share this with the people who are pondering such an awful decision.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
KID: Oh, right...oct- as in octagon.
ME: Yup, and octopus. And the eighth month of the year used to be October, just like SEPT-ember was the seventh month, and November and December were the ninth and tenth.
KID: But wait--that's only ten months!
ME: Right...until the Romans got hold of the calendar and added two months named after their most famous Caesars.
KID: (thinks for a second) So what would that be...May?
Monday, May 21, 2012
ME (sportscaster voice): And Castro hits a bomb to center field....oh my; that really WAS a bomb to center field!
KID: And he yells, "Praise Allah!"
ME: Umm, I'm pretty sure Castro isn't Muslim.
KID: That's what he wants you to think...
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
ME: Back before that law was passed, some schools started as early as August 1, which pushed marching band back into the middle of July.
KID: Yay--right when it's snowing.
ME: Wait--what do you mean, snowing? In July?
KID: Yeah, it snowed. Remember? Not this year, but the year before that.
ME: It doesn't snow in July here; I think you mean January.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
ME: How many sixteenth notes go into a half note?
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Hearing such wonderful music from children raised a nagging question. Why can’t kids master complicated science, math, language arts, or social studies? Why does everybody struggle so mightily to get kids to pass simple-minded government-mandated tests in academic subjects? And then it hit me. Jazz-band teachers do the right things in teaching that other teachers need to learn how to do. Two things are essential in teaching, the professionalism of the teacher and the motivation of the students. Most school jazz programs provide both. Sad to say, this is not so true of traditional curriculum.Read the whole thing; it's definitely worth your time. And feel free to hit the comment button to continue the discussion if you wish.