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Another Piece on Music Education


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#1 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 07:14

Guardian editorial: https://www.theguard...-social-harmony.

 

I can only speak as a later adult learner, but learning is very expensive: initial outlay, routine maintenance, repairs, consumables, instrument upgrades, books, apps, exam fees, accompanists, rehearsals, lessons.  If you play in an ensemble then add in cost of travel as a minimum.


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#2 EllieD

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:00

It's an uphill battle, not only expensive, but what percentage of today's young kids would even want to learn an instrument that was more associated with classical music than with rock or pop anyway? And nearly all of that percentage would come from middle class backgrounds. Music currently is very much an elite pursuit, and that's a massive shame given that the vast majority of people do enjoy listening to music. I just don't see anyone finding the resources to get this sorted out unfortunately.


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#3 Saxwarbler

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 20:45

It's an uphill battle, not only expensive, but what percentage of today's young kids would even want to learn an instrument that was more associated with classical music than with rock or pop anyway? And nearly all of that percentage would come from middle class backgrounds. Music currently is very much an elite pursuit, and that's a massive shame given that the vast majority of people do enjoy listening to music. I just don't see anyone finding the resources to get this sorted out unfortunately.

I'm actually quite surprised by the number of young people who do. My singing teacher has several teenage pupils learning across a range of singing styles and a good few girls among her ex-pupils now in their twenties who have become very proficient young amateur opera singers. One is now in her final year at Birmingham.

I also have a work colleague whose seven-year-old is very enthusiastically learning cello. Admittedly it's still early days - he's just taken his Trinity initial - but he does it because he wants to and not because his (Asian) parents have forced or cajoled him in any way. The boy's biggest handicap is, I suspect, going to be his parents' lack of understanding or knowledge. My colleague, by his own admission, has little interest in music and rarely listens to any. He does not understand much of what his son is being taught even though he sits in on lessons at the teacher's request. I've suggested some listening and reading to start him off and even suggested he try learning an instrument himself - perhaps recorder or even keyboard but I sense plenty of reluctance.

I think there is often reluctance on the part of parents to make the musical learning journey along with their children. Many of them didn't get the opportunities their children have and/or learnt that they weren't good enough. They are afraid of failing, of looking stupid or just assuming that they would be more hindrance than help to their children.
And then there are those parents who are just plain dismissive. It fills me with disappointment when I read posts on Facebook from parents declaring that the little darling has, horror of horrors, come home from school with a recorder, as thought it's something to be endured rather than embraced. I do my bit to change their views but it's not easy.


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