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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000734.txt from 2004/10

From: Tony Pay <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Appealing to the superficial
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 09:27:04 -0400

On 25 Oct, Adam Michlin <> wrote:

> At 12:41 PM 10/25/2004 +0200, you wrote:

> > Mozart doesn't need "tricks". If students don't respond to his music,
> > maybe it's not the right time, maybe it's not the right place. If
> > they're going to come to Mozart it has to be on their terms; after all,
> > it's their ears, their brain, their time. And if they *don't* ever come
> > to Mozart, IT DOESN'T MATTER. It's their life.
> Right. And it doesn't matter if they learn to read. It's their life. It
> doesn't matter if they learn to write. It's their life. It doesn't matter
> if they learn math. It's their life.

You need to understand what is true about what you have said here. That you
think it contains *no* truth is why I say: you are appallingly sure of

> I must have missed where I suggested forcing them to listen Mozart? If you
> mean that by playing Mozart in a classroom I am "forcing" them to listen,
> then the logical extension of your argument is we shouldn't "force"
> students to be in the classroom at all.

*You* think that's a reductio ad absurdum, clearly. But *of course* it's
wrong to force children to be in a classroom when they don't want to be

By that, I don't mean that children shouldn't ever be in classrooms. I mean
that children's wants should be taken seriously.

A good quote, from the physicist David Deutsch:

...anyway, the reality is that getting what you want is the (relatively)
easy part. It's finding something to want that takes most of the creative

In order to acquire the skills necessary to create, throughout one's adult
life, goals that one will be happy to work towards, it is essential to have
had repeated experiences of doing that successfully as a child, and quite
poisonous to have had the experience of chronically failing to.

> What you suggest is truly dumbing down what is taught.

He suggested exactly the opposite.

_________ Tony Pay
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