This essay describes and analyzes the importance of music appreciation and suggests methods captivate and increase students’ interest. Musical education in upper levels is essential.The rudiments of music theory and history need be ground into students at the youngest age possible. …
This essay "Teaching Harmony: Instructing Music in Relation to the World" outlines the importance of music education, what is wrong with the way the music are taught in schools and what should be changed. In1980’s Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, James Hanshumaker described the conclusions his studies had revealed. To summarize, he found that: 1) Language and reading are improved through study of the Arts, as well as promoting general intellectual, social, and individual development, 2) Participation in the Arts results in lower absenteeism and a more positive respect for school, 3) Direct music participation promotes creative development, and 4) Arts activities are valued by the students. These factors indicate that music can not only communicate a mood, it can alter perceptions as well. Certain studies indicate that exposure to Mozart can elevate one’s IQ. This does not mean that only Mozart can benefit the mind… a tenet many instructors refuse to recognize. This belief is reflected through commercial radio, where hour long blocks of “Classical” music (a genre spanning some 400 years) are channeled into “Top Ten” composers. Yet while Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaicovsky, and Wagner are carefully dissected, the roots of music and the evolution following are rarely acknowledged. Classical music did not end, nor has it remained the same, as exhibited through such composers as Ligeti, Partch, or Bartók… although the designations may be called by different names, such as avant-garde or atonal. Yet just like every other human knowledge, music grows. Educators do not recognize the parallels between distinguishing Baroque and Romantic and distinguishing reggae and ska, punk and emo, or Delta and Chicago blues. It is almost as if teachers are unwilling to explore, despite the obvious connections: the majority of American music is based off of Appalachian music or African work songs and spirituals, yet they also show the influence of various world music, from Japan to India, the Caribbean to Central America and, yes, even Europe. Polka and Klezmer music are part of the American heritage from Europe just as much as "Classical" music. The teachers do not admit these connections however, and the students either fail to realize the interconnection or divorce their studies from the reality of their experiences. Meanwhile, notes musician Gary Burton, "it's far more common for young up-and-coming musicians to go to school somewhere and learn a lot more about music of different types, and music history which makes them capable of more versatility and sophistication"3. More sophistication in ...
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