Issue: October - December 2008
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20 Years ago in Bandworld

Why Instrumental Music? (concluded)

by Edwin Kruth
Vol. 4, #2, p.17 (November - December 1988)

Music, if properly approached, will increase the young musicians sensitivity to and perception of the world around him to the degree that he is willing to dedicate himself and submit to the all important discipline that music demands. The psychological transfer of this musical perception, that is learned through disciplined performance, is overwhelming.

The untrained musician should try listening to a string quartet with eyes closed in a quiet room, clearing the mind of the general turmoil of daily living, and listening for the linear motion of the piece, the rhythmic movement and the melodic texture. Then look at a fine painting, clouds in the sky, the falling rain, the patterns of growing things, or even the movement of a tall tree swaying in the breeze. The sharpened awareness of the perceptual field whetted by careful and analytical listening will be somewhat evident even with only listening participation. The music has become an emotional message to the inventiveness of the imagination. Think of what performance, constantly disciplined, will do to sharpen the general perception of a student.

Can you imagine a class in appreciation of dill pickles, ripe olives, snails or yogurt, if the instructor were to simply stand in front of the class and eat, describing the flavor and telling you why you should appreciate the unusual flavor of these delicacies. Music is the same, in that personal participation and the experience through education is the keynote. One month’s experience in performance will increase the expectancy of the lasting appreciation one-hundred fold.

What are the results of years of musical experience in the public schools as demonstrated by observable behavior? What is expected of students with a musical background regardless of whether or not they are planning on pursuing music as a career?

  1. They are expected to be disciplined both emotionally and technically and prepared to respond to their total environment intellectually and emotionally.
  2. They are expected to be open minded and receptive to new ideas.
  3. They are expected to be ambitious and sincere.
  4. They are expected to be prepared to dedicate themselves to something.
  5. They are expected to have a thorough foundation in the fundamentals of instrumental performance.

Certainly no scholar would minimize the multiplicity of intellectual demands for fine musical performance. Serious music of any kind requires the greatest concentration and intellect.

THIS IS THE JUSTIFICATION OF INSTRUMENTAL MUSICAL EXPERIENCE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

 

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