Vocal and Instrumental Instruction


From Mozart to Miley...

Posted by shelly on August 27, 2013 at 7:30 PM

As a former opera singer, now country artist, I perform the same old songs at gigs all the time... Timeless hit songs by Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, etc. I value the art of performance, just as any other classical artist in Lincoln Center. It's a great thing, to perform... giving an audience an hour of enjoyment and entertainment--for healing, peace, etc.

BUT... As a society, we're so caught up in getting on stage, that somehow we've forgotten to teach our children how to create anything new! ... So it goes from Mozart to Miley. K-12 music teaches us to listen, read, and play music. It stops there. No one ever teaches kids how to create it. So those kids who aren't talented enough or are intimidated by performing, often quit music altogether. I truly appreciate and love performing classical music and my old country tunes, but if we can show young people the opportunity of creating new music, perhaps there would be some better tunes on the radio.

If music education were taught more like technology, we could have more young composers creating significant music. Instead, our music history classes 500 years from now will go from Mozart to Miley. If Steve Jobs had sat in an office all day "performing" and rebuilding old Ataris everyday, we wouldn't have Macbook Pros and Iphones. For Apple, Creativity + Profit = Growth. Yet, us musicians keep singing and playing the same old songs...creating no growth in music. We should be teaching our children how to create new sounds for the world. Like Tesla and Steve Jobs... Beethoven and The Beatles. Something to mark down for the 2000s in our music history books.

One of my 5 year old students composed this song last year. He transcribed it himself. It isn't perfect, but most important of all, it gave him an awareness of the career choice, "Composer". It gave him confidence that he can not only play music, but create and write something new for the world. Now go write some music!

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