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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000679.txt from 2003/10

From: "James Hobby" <jhobby@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] Accomodating students who have special circumstances; was, Starting a youngster
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 14:20:01 -0500

(Note: This is going to have the words "marching band" and "football" in
it. Feel free to hit the delete key, now.)

>We all have some capability to make music, and to utilize it for personal
expression and
>creativity of some sort to help make our own lives better

Patricia,

If you're talking about performance music, then I disagree with you. Music
is not for everybody. In essence, that's why everyone isn't playing an
instrument and why everybody has never played an instrument. Those for whom
music isn't a good subject range from the disinterested to those who are
thick as a 2x4.

Most people do not have some capability to make music, beyond blowing rude
noises through a toilet paper tube or banging on the kitchen table. Unless,
of course, you subscribe to the theory that rap is music -- which I do not.
Most people can't utilize anything for personal expression and creativity
more complicated than a three-day-old pancake. Nothing is going to make
their lives better, unless they start building eight cans into a six-pack.
I'm not saying this as an elitist musician, but as someone who has been
watching people for most of 60 years -- and teaching school for more than
half of that.

Children play football who, for the same reasons, shouldn't play football.
Of course, it's easier to be a bench warmer in football than in music.
However, sports, generically, are often played because (1) my brother,
Cecil, does it, (2) my daddy/mommy did it, (3) my frield, Bubba, is doing
it, (4) my big brother did it, (5) it's cool, because we win a lot, or (6) I
really want to do it. And I listed them in that order intentionally. This
presumes a band (music) program that is poor, marginal, or barely adequate.

However, when the band starts winning, gravity changes. As the trophies
mount up, the desire to be in the band increases. Beginning programs
incease The size and quality of the marching band increase. (And with that
increase -- and hopefully, also comes a balanced instrumentation -- comes
the chance to actually teach music. It does work, for those who say
marching band is worthless.)

Sorry, Patricia, but our job is to teach music to our students, and thus
improve _their_ quality of life. I'll leave the rest of the school to the
teachers who have the energy or the responsibility to deal with them. The
more people who submit themselves to your control, when you raise your
baton, the greater the "quality of life" of our students become. They move
from band nerds to the winners, which improves their position in the pecking
order of the school, which can be very important.

Jim

>From: "Patricia A. Smith" <arlyss1@-----.net>
>
>I feel that part of my job as a teacher - and this is
>only personally - is to not only teach the students I may have in my
>classes, but also to show that music is for ALL people! .

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