Sunday, November 14, 2010

Public Schools and Music

In thinking about a topic dealing specifically with the issues pertaining to the future of classical music, I realized that our discussion of school systems and education may in fact be the solution. In doing some research, I have decided to confront the issue of Music Programs in public schools. Looking through different sets of articles on the issue, I realize that there are organizations that are making conscious efforts to increase music awareness and education across the country. VH1 has now come to the forefront on the matter in directly funding institutions to ensure a music program will be enforced. I know that my public school system is the only reason I am where I am today. I was introduced to the recorder, the violin, viola, and cello at a very young age and I will always be thankful for it. Id say that more than half of our country no longer or never had that opportunity. Just out of curiosity, how many of you attended public schools when you were younger, and if so how was the music department if any?


Jaunter said...

I have only been to public schools my whole life. The first time I was introduced to music was in fourth grade on recorder and strings in fifth. My public school music education was very limited, but it did eventually give me the opportunity to have one. In fifth grade I had one strings class every week or every other week, I honestly can't remember.

In middle school I had orchestra class every other day which was much better, but did not learn any technique from the teacher other than how to make a sound. My enthusiasm to learn allowed me to explore and learn more on my own such as vibrato, ricochet, and even flying sticcato (which I hadn't known was an actual technique until college!).

In high school I again had an orchestra class every other day, but I filled the day I didn't have the advance orchestra with the lower orchestra class. In high school I'd learn of orchestra outside of public school and decided to join one and through that I found out about private lessons.

I learn a limited amount of music theory from my high school orchestra class. I played cello in the lower orchestra class and trumpet and snare drum in the drum line of my high school marching band, which I feel helped teach me about different instruments and clefs.

Dave B. said...

I do come from a musical family, but I also had a very excellent music education in the public school system in Salt Lake City, UT. I did recorder in 3rd or 4th grade, and then started on trumpet in 5th grade. We had weekly classes during 5th and 6th grade, and all students had to either take brass, woodwinds, strings or chorus. In 7th grade I entered the school band which met every day, and I started in a before-school jazz band in 8th grade.

During high school, I took AP Music Theory, which introduced me to concepts that made my undergraduate theory courses much easier. I didn't really appreciate how good my education was at the time, but it has become more apparent to me now that I teach 5-8 grade brass classes in the Cambridge School District.

Most of my students cannot read music, and they are pretty much all at a beginning level despite the fact that some of them have been playing the same instrument for 4 years. This is my first year teaching and I am committed to raising the expectations and ability levels of my students.