In a world that values numbers and stats for admittance to post-secondary institutions, the need for education in the arts becomes more and more important. Creativity is what really spurs the great ideas of our time, it is what creates the great leaders of the world. Anyone can learn to spit out facts and numbers to get a high score, only to forget them as soon as the exam is over. What music and the arts teaches us are valuable life lessons that we carry with us throughout our existence.
What is interesting is that for all of the talk of music programs being cut at school, the curriculum itself (and I’m speaking of Toronto specifically) is actually quite detailed and well thought out. There is a heavy emphasis not just on classical music and learning the basics of the notes, but also a large focus on introducing world music. The popularity of steel pan ensembles is example of this, something the kids love to play.
Also important is the appreciation of music. It is not simply enough to memorize dates of when composers lived – this has no practicality in the world. The students need to understand what they are listening to, understand the universal themes that are present in every piece, and apply it to their lives. It doesn’t matter if they don’t end up liking classical music, there are many who don’t. It is about exposing them to it, to give it a chance, and to display a different way of looking at the world.
More on this topic to come, as we discuss it at our Lean Music meetings, the next one of which will be taking place March 6, 2012 at 9:00pm, message me to find out more. And now here’s a cute picture of Anthony Thompson and me performing for some Grade 1 and 2′s!