Music Appreciation teaching program ??

Les hlhowell at
Sun Sep 20 20:32:23 UTC 2009

On Mon, 2009-09-21 at 05:48 +0930, Tim wrote:
> On Sun, 2009-09-20 at 12:36 -0700, Craig White wrote:
> > seriously, there are all sorts of trained and untrained musicians but
> > whether a musician has knowledge or education in classical music is
> > not necessarily important. The Beatles never knew how to read music.
> Just imagine how much better they could have been!  ;-)  Sorry, couldn't
> resist.
> Yes, there's a lot of talented people without formal training.  But I
> tend to be more impressed by those with it.  And they're certainly more
> able to work with other trained musicians, as they know how tell each
> other what needs doing.  "More, um, thingy," doesn't work too well.
> > But I find it hard to believe that anyone actually doesn't like
> > classical music if they like other forms of music. It is truly
> > universal.
> Many do, without realising it, as it's used all over the place
> (cartoons, commercials, etc.).  Though I've had many a good piece of
> music ruined for me, now, as I cannot avoid seeing Bugs Bunny and Elmer
> Fudd in my mind's eye while hearing the piece.
> Some are actively prejudiced against it.  A friend's teenage son was
> trawling through the ring tones on his phone, commenting on ones he
> liked and disliked.  He liked quite a few classical ones, but the moment
> I enlightened him, he deleted them.  I caught him singing some music
> from a couple of operas, once or twice, but he had no idea.  He'd heard
> them on TV somewhere, but no clue as to what they really were.
> Others will never get to hear it, because of the prejudices of those
> around them who will pick the music that's heard.  They moment they hear
> it, they turn off or go away.
Several composers were child prodigies, and gifted from birth.  Their
music is heard around the world, and admired.  And yes, many received
classical training once their capabilities were known, but their talent
was present first, and in some cases, I believe schools take on such
talent to further their own resume's.  Its not that training doesn't
matter, as much as the fact that the environment one chooses changes
ones perspective of language and its usage to communicate those wants
needs and desires you speak of.  Yet music is a language of its own.

As are most endeavors in life.  One need not have formal training to
succeed, but one must have access to the accumulated knowledge.
Societies of elitists often try to corral the knowledge, and keep it
captive so that they can continue to be rare and demand great sums for
their skills, while many equally or possibly even better talents never
get the chance.  Programmers are kept from arising by the ACM as much as
they are enabled by it.  Electronics engineers are kept from mutual
knowledge by the IEEE, as much as the members benefit from it.  And yes,
I do know the costs associated with maintaining the libraries (although
given computers and disk sizes, the ability to maintain large libraries
and search through them is falling exponentially faster than the law of
gravity would accelerate a body in space.)

So ones exposure to or non-exposure may reduce the acceptance of
professionals, and minimize their earning potential, but the greater
loser is society at large when preconceptions, such as the one against
classical music or the one you espouse against those with little or no
formal training are allowed to restrict the availability of those
talents to the world (and the corrollary of poor performance as a
comparison standard.)

Just my humble opinion.

Les H.

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