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Music education: should art and performance be taught in schools?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by JimmyM, Apr 19, 2010.


  1. Billnc

    Billnc

    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Since the student is usually a beginner there is a way to incorporate some of the concepts of RHCP into music theory. Higher Ground for example, the concept of an octave, and scale movement up an individual string. They would not just be spoon fed a RHCP lick.
    My experience is those that don't do both, rarely even get the RCHP stuff. Let's face it, if you don't practice enough to get Green Day you're never going to play. Those with a genuine interest in music always manage both.
     
  2. engedi1

    engedi1

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    Awesome Jeff. The above paragraph communicates your message very clearly! I can't see how anyone could disagree with this above, unless they are too LAZY to want to grow. (I feel that laziness and a complacent attitude towards learning in general are at the heart of much of the bad attitudes you get directed your way.)
     
  3. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Well whether its RHCP or something else, the point being that they may not (at that point) be interested in learning jazz or classical or theory per se. They want to learn to do what they like to listen to. It may be above their abilities at the time but itÂ’s my experience that if they are into it they generally will put in the time.
     
  4. engedi1

    engedi1

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    If Rhonda Smith is teaching the class, do we really care about the content?;)

    In all seriousness, I am sure she would have lots of musical meat to offer...
     
  5. engedi1

    engedi1

    Sep 16, 2005
    Nashville
    This describes me exactly. I had about 2-3 bass lessons with the music store teacher who showed me how to pluck and hold the neck and slap. Then he moved. Since all I was interested in was Zep and RHCP, I taught myself all their tunes by ear. Maybe since I had a piano background that was easier for me than for some. It never really occured to me to take bass or guitar lessons as I was able to learn Stu Hamm and Flea and Les Claypool parts on m y own. However, my desire matured when I first plucked an upright bass. Then I got lucky with an awesome teacher.
    However, even he was mostly technical training on playing the bass, not so much musical content.
     
  6. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Bill, it is interesting and true that you say this.

    I am a licensed soccer coach here in NJ. I always tell the parents that I can teach the kids the game, basic skills, flow, positioning, footskills, etc. The one thing that I cannot teach or impart is DESIRE. Either the kids want to learn and improve, and then go kick some ass, or they don't. The motivation must come from within. The other thing I tell parents is this - "different kids at different rates at different paces at different times". Today's superstar could be that because they grew faster than the others. You can't force a kid to grow or get it physically, mentally, emotionally, or from a desire standpoint. Too many times I've been involved with folks who are pushing their kids too hard, and the kids burn out. What started as a great outlet for the kids became drudgery for them - their folks were living vicariously through the kid, setting unreasonable expectations, and the kids either rebel, give up, or develop other issues that I won't get into here.

    I think that this ties into this conversation in that with young kids, as an instructor or coach we need to ask are the kids doing it because they want to, or are they being pushed by external forces? Music is a wonderful, life giving force for good. Using the illustration above, each student needs to be handled differently dependent on desire and other factors. You will be able to tell quickly whether the student is ready or not.

    YMMV.
     
  7. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for bringing them up.

    I can only add that a good music teacher could do this as well, but a not-so-competant teacher can't do more than tell someone where to place their fingers. It takes understanding of instrument and music to teach tunes properly. Tension in grip, thumb placement, emphasising a lighter touch so as to not aggravate here arthritic condition; there's more to playing a song than just putting one's fingers on the neck and strumming, especially if you are physically compromized. Non-musically trained teachers don't know these things. A skilled teacher does. A great teacher should be able to teach anyone according to their needs. But, non-musically aware teachers can't. This is why I opt to push these teachers into upping their vision if they wish to pass information on to other people.
     
  8. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    I've hung with Rhonda before. She's a doll, shorter than me (wow, that's tough to do), and is funky as hell! Anyone that can do 10 years with Prince is aces in my book!

    Yeah, I know, no photo, no hang.......

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=222123&id=100000055658338
     
  9. Eminentbass

    Eminentbass

    Jun 7, 2006
    South Africa
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Amps and Sandberg Basses.
    I'd say that like with learning grammar, not all time spent at home is spent on the academics e.g reading or writing for pleasure. With a kid a LITTLE BIT of time spent on the "grammar" aspect REGULARLY is something that should be emphasized because nothing can be mastered over night. It's a gradual process. Practice won't hold them back from just jamming at home and having a good time.

    Anybody playing an instrument wants to learn their favourite songs but learning theory will equip them to figure the song out on their own rather than having to be taught.
     
  10. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Thanks. This is very nice of you. But, as long as teachers, bassists (well known or not), and columnists not specify musical goals or music itself in just about every academic situation where people pay money to learn something, then it is still going to be metronomes, groove classes, and non-musically-related lessons only pertaining to that dastardly overrated event, the GIG!
     
  11. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Bingo! That is the idea, to manage both, that is, academics and art! You can't but win this way. Learn one way, play in another. A total win-win. Bill, you did it again!
     
  12. i would think the pinky/thumb questions could be cleared up quickly and w/o tab......:p

    i think the problem with that approach is that we are watering the lesson down for easier comprehension while imho the better path would be to raise the bar,so to speak,and place more emphasis on the student rolling up his sleeves and working it out.......

    i think as parents,teachers,coaches,we do the shopping, set the table,and serve the meal to the student,while he/she would be better off long term learning to cook for him/herself,
     
  13. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    I agree! There is nothing wrong for a student to do things the right way, for the best long term benefit. Teachers may be cheating their students out of learning well by trying to make things easier instead of showing them that everybody learns how to read music or how to play over time, not years, but sometimes over a few weeks.
     
  14. odin70

    odin70

    Dec 26, 2007
    In a perfect world i would agree. But there is a difference between your students and mine. I bet that all of your students (Jeff), are very very motivated. I assume that they are when they have the chance to study with someone like Jeff Berlin.
    I work at a public music school..and some student (not all) have the idea that we almost are going to play Guitar Hero together during our lesson...and voila they can play Battory by Metallica. To make them realize that they actually have to do some work or even pay some attention to what i say, can be..well..a challenge. Maybe i have to work on the motivation side of my teaching.
     
  15. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    Are you an elementary school music teacher? Can you explain what you mean by a public music school? Thanks!
     
  16. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
     
  17. odin70

    odin70

    Dec 26, 2007
    Jeff im not sure if you have the same thing in the US. Its a public school subsedized (sorry about my spelling) by the state. It gives all children and teenagers the possibillity to study music or another art form, once or twice a week (after school). I have only bass students.
     
  18. if the work ethic is not instilled at school, challenges will be faced by the students later on that may be insurmountable.....try telling a prospective employer that you kinda slept thru school so there might be a learning curve before i'm up to speed....

    i doubt very much that guys who do the hiring l,would have much patience for guys who come in without knowing the ropes.......it's a tough world out there and learning how to face challenges,focus,and do the work,without a whole lot of coaxing is important........maybe a few tests early on with a big red f on them is the way to shake up the student,and let them know that no effort=no result
     
  19. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    OH MAN! Do you realize the golde opportunity that you have to open these kids up to music? Simple reading, a little light homework written out. If you tell them that it is a valuable way to learn how to play, well.... You will be affecting youn musicians' lives, perhaps forever.

    I have a trombone book that I use with Players School of Music students who come here but who can't read a single note. The first line is simple rhythmical uses of the notes C and B. Whole notes, and half notes start their reading lessons. To date, 100% of these players learn to read this simple stuff. Which opens up the possiblity to read quarter notes. Following those whole and half notes, 100% of the non-reading students now are reading this part of the trombone literature.

    In short, I have reading students, soloing, comping, and fully immersed in musical content because I insist that they do this. The result is that, in 10 weeks, I have guys who know how to read, not Ravel, but who can function beautifully with written music.

    This allows me to offer to them some unique harmonic exercises, difficult to practice without reading skills. The result of this is that, in one year 100% of Players School of Music students can read, comp, solo, play chords, play chord substitutions. If they stay longer with the school after one year, all of them demand (I repeat) DEMAND harder material to practice.

    All by starting with the whole notes C and Bb.
     
  20. JeffBerlin

    JeffBerlin Guest

    Jan 10, 2009
    I agree with this! If Odin is dealing with an attitude from his students that is not sympathetic to his interest in getting these guys to learn how to read music, I hope that he will try to make sure that this uphill resistance doesn't deter him from insisting that his students learn the right musical material for their own musical edification, maybe not now, but soon and probably forever.
     

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