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- MUSIC IS WORTH KNOWING. It is a field of study with its own special body of knowledge, skills and ways of thinking. The ability to perform, to create, and to listen to music with understanding is highly desirable for every member of society.
- One important purpose of the schools is to transmit our cultural heritage to succeeding generations and music is one of the most glorious manifestations of our cultural heritage.
- The schools have an obligation to help each student develop his or her musical potential. Musical potential is one of the basic abilities, along with linguistic potential, physical potential and others, that exist in every individual.
- Music provides an outlet for creativity and for self-expression.
- The study of music can help the student understand better the nature of humankind.
- Music in the school provides an opportunity for success for some students who have difficulty with other aspects of the curriculum.
- The study of music can increase the satisfaction that students derive from music and enable them to deal with more sophisticated and complex music.
- Music is one of the most powerful and profound symbol systems that exist.
- It is important for young people to realize that not every aspect of life is quantifiable. One must be able to cope with the subjective. Not every question has one right answer. Music teaches this very well.
- Music exalts the human spirit. It enhances the quality of life. It transforms the human experience. It has always played a major role in society and it will continue to do so in the future.
MUSIC IS A SCIENCE. It is exact, specific, and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor's score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.
MUSIC IS MATHEMATICAL. It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
MUSIC IS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French and the notation is certainly not English, but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music are the most complete and universal language.
MUSIC IS HISTORY. Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and/or the racial feeling.
MUSIC IS PHYSICAL EDUCATION. It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.
MUSIC IS ALL THESE THINGS, BUT MOST OF ALL, MUSIC IS ART. It allows a human being to take all accumulated knowledge and skill and use it to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion.
THAT IS WHY WE TEACH MUSIC.
Not because we expect you to major in music.
Not because we expect you to play or sing all of your life.
Not so you can relax,
Not so you can have fun.
…so you will be more human.
…so you will recognize beauty.
…so you will be more sensitive.
…so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world.
...so you will have something to cling to.
…so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good.
In short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?
Rationale for Music Education
- To study music is to study a basic form of communication. While music may not be a universal language, it, like reading, writing, and speaking, conveys thoughts, ideas and feelings amongst peoples. The impact and power of music as a basic means of communication among people of all ages makes it an important area of learning.
- To study music is to study the world's peoples. Music helps us to learn about ourselves, our traditions and our ways of thinking and acting. It also helps us to learn about others, their traditions and their behaviors.
- To study music is to study the learning process. Music an academic subject that involves learning in the major domains: cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), affective (attitudes and feelings) and kinesthetic (the senses). Music comprises its own complex body of knowledge, requires the development of motor coordination, shapes attitudes and feelings and requires learning via the senses. Through music, people engage in the entire learning process and develop keener understandings and insights as how knowledge, skills, attitudes, feelings, and the senses interrelate.
- To study music is to study the self-imagination and self-expression. Music provides a means for developing self-expression and creativity.
- To study music is to study the basics. Music is a comprehensive art – within its study, students come into contact with other basic areas of the curriculum: math, science, social studies, languages and physical education.
- To study music is to study art. The study of music teaches people to appreciate quality – those products of human creativity that represent the highest order of thinking, feeling, and technical achievement.