Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why Music Matters, Beautifully Stated

There have been plenty of essays written in the past several decades about why music (and by extension, music education) is so important, and this is a great addition to the collection.  It's by Karl Paulnack, Director of the Music Division of the Boston Conservatory, and it comes from a welcome address that he gave to freshman students in 2004. (How have I gone this long without running across this address before now?)  Here's one of the money quotes, in my opinion:
[...]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.

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