Monday, September 23, 2013

Classical music training for everyone

A young Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti wishes that schools in Britain would teach classical music for every single student as a part of the curriculum. In an article on The Independent newspaper’s website (, she claims that the studying and listening of complex works of music would help young people understand humanity, and more specifically, our expression and growth as people.

If classical music at some point used to belong to the general school education, nowadays it is taken off the curriculum apparently due to its status of seriousness. There is an expectation in the school world that music classes should be fun, something lighter to do on the side of other, more serious subjects. Classical music is obviously not perceived as something light and fun, so its’ room in the curriculum is often drastically narrow.
Benedetti is not saying classical music could not be fun, but rather asking, since when did everything have to be fun? In addition to the enjoyment, the studying of classical music provides possibilities for historical exploring of many kinds. She is sorry for the educators not realizing its potential.

It would be extremely interesting to see how this change in education would change the students, and the position of classical music in a society. Benedetti’s wish goes well with the thought that one needs to be educated in order to really understand the classical music. To make the training a part of the regular curriculum, the inferior status of music in the subject hierarchy would have to be transformed, and have it be treated as seriously as history or math. Change is typically unwelcome, but I hope there would be enough belief from the authorities in discovering and utilizing that said potential. 

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