Music in education is essential to our children because it increases their listening skills and is a common method of communication for cultures worldwide. There are schools attempting to eliminate teaching musical arts to our children. The board of education claims they must provide education by concentrating on the basic academic courses, but what they don’t realize is that music is a major part of basic education. We must not allow them to pull the teaching of music out of our school curriculums because music is an essential form of communication.
Our children do not have to be fluent in the arts to receive the value of broad exposure to the different musical dialogues. Deprivation of a very valuable part of education occurs if we do not teach them to appreciate a wide variety of music. Metaphorically speaking, we often associate the terms language and grammar with the term music. This association leads us to believe that music is a form of language, possibly because no symbol system other than language has the same potential as music of infinite productivity and precision.
It takes a multitude of directions and phonetic-type symbolism to produce a pleasant sounding musical composition. This relates very closely to the requirements of everyday language. The primary objective of any spoken language is to convey a person’s thoughts in a comprehensible fashion, but we must remember that everyone thinks and comprehends everything differently. Musical language contains vast quantities of words to help people understand how original composers intended to play a specific piece.
Musical language also has directions that allow and encourage some scope of original interpretation and minor departures from the written score, resulting in no two performances sounding exactly alike. The English language, as we know it, carries a very strong parallel to these same interpretable words. Dialect and slang are just two of the many connotative forms to speak different languages. All languages contain these variations and reinforce the need for striving toward understanding a basically generic language.
It would be very difficult to speak to a non-English speaking person and clearly convey a message unless both persons were familiar with basic terminology. It would be just as unlikely to communicate a musical message to someone not educated or interested in musical interpretation. The term music in itself has many different connotations. One in the United States may not have the same perceptions as one whose origin is France or Australia, or elsewhere in the world. In my travels through Europe and South America I had a hard time finding any truly original, locally produced music.
The majority of the music I searched through were also popular in the United States. It was very easy to find foreigners singing an American song using their interpretation of our language. The entire world seems to be able to communicate with music and seems to understand it enough to share their own musical interpretation. Music is a language of it’s own and depending on how we speak it, it too can accomplish a multitude of results. People are no more able to understand a foreign language without education than they are to understand the unspoken language of music without proper musical education.
A single score of music interpreted with a few of many available musical directions can tell as many stories as there are variations. For example, playing Cristofori’s Dream by David Lanz entirely lento-pianisimo (slow and very soft), creates a very peaceful and tranquil mood. Played again allegro-forte (lively, brisk, and loud), emits an uplifting feeling. Yet, by using both interpretations progressively and regressively within this identical musical score, one could feel depleted and elated in the same timeframe.
This is perhaps the most ascribable reason to pursue aknowledge of musical semantics. Within music one expresses many emotions, speaks many languages, conveys complex messages, and tells many stories. Music can be a selfish form of conversation and it is not always necessary to have a recipient to onvey a message. One has only to listen while playing music to communicate with themselves, yet most would suspect the stability of a person who attempted this scenario by simply talking and responding while alone.
Music merges the physical aspects of harmony with a sublime and metaphysical effect creating an inner peace. Seldom will words alone be capable of accomplishing what just one musical composition can communicate when we teach our children to appreciate music. With all available forms of communication, one should never forget that listening carefully to music–as we should listen to others speak–can clarify the true meanings of all languages. We should all strive to include intuition and intellect into language of any form.
Intellect enlarges our range of instincts through newly absorbed information and enables us to reflect and analyze all forms of language. If communication is the purpose for language, we must then realize that speech is not the only form of communication, for life without smiles, hugs, sign language, and even music would be very unfulfilling. We must continue to educate our children in the musical arts and teach them yet another form of communication.
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