A new popular topic for the past couple of years has been the question in validity and relevance of music education in schools. Why is this happening now? That is up to you to gather your own opinions on. However, as a Music Educator, I feel I would not be living up to the profession that I spent thousands of dollars preparing for if I didn't tell you what exactly I'm here for. To start, Confucius once said "If you would know if a people be well governed (and), if it's laws be good or bad, (then) examine the the music it practices." (Campbell 2008, 20) Why would a genius such as Confucius with the idea of music being just as important as the laws of the land? The answer to that is simple, music is just as important. Since the beginning of standardized education, music has been a required course that all students took. So why High School Choir ,you may ask. Well, in high school I believe that you are all at the point in your lives where you need music more than any other time in a person's life. This is because music is all about self discovery and the ideas presented in certain concepts that don't have simple explanations.This proves to be a difficult undertaking at any time before or after adolescence. In the years you spend in higher education, you voice changes, you discover new things is the world, and new things about yourself. It's the time in your life where you feel the most vulnerable as well as the most alone in that vulnerability. This is where music comes into play. I'm sure every student has heard the old "I remember when I was your age..." speech but taken from a musical stand point, one learns that the concepts of love, and loneliness, and loss, and profound excitement are all emotions that are valid and universal to everyone. This is why I've designed the class the way that I have. I wanted a more student-driven classroom, with open discussion because I believe that that is the key for an ensemble to grow together and personal as well as team growth are what we strive for in this field and if we can share that with our audience then that is what makes it even more worth it. Even St. Augustine would go on to confess that "all of his emotions could be echoed and made more alive in voice and song. He recognized the usefulness of music, too, in that people could be moved by the ideas carried by the text of a song rendered with a clear singing voice" (Campbell 2008, 21) Thus bringing home the point of a holistic education in music and why it is so important. Music not only teaches practical life skills but it also delves into genuine discussion of ones own self and how to better that as well as the world around us.
Campbell, P. S. (2008). Musician & teacher: An orientation to music education. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company