Written by Daryl Allison www.muzartworld.org
We love our sports. We want our kids to be active. We encourage them with family activities and outings. We reward them by sending them to school for their athletic potential. We celebrate amateur stars before they ever turn professional.
Quick, name the last amateur musician drafted number one overall?
None? Okay, an easier one for you then: Name five aspiring musicians at your local university.
Try asking your coworkers those same questions. See how many can answer. I bet you won’t have any trouble finding coworkers who can name more than five local university athletes.
Imagine a world… Where next to every new basketball court we put in there was also a covered nook housing a grand piano. (Major sporting events use an organ to get the crowd excited, so why not?) Where every school bus stop had a karaoke machine. Where every playground had various string instruments scattered among the playscape: a harp next to the big spinning blocks, to explore notes like they do with shapes and colors; a horn at the top of the slide to announce to the world that the cavalry is coming! Where schools required 30 minutes of music education each day like they do for PE. Think about that for a minute. Students are required to jog, required to learn how to play various games. Music is known to directly benefit learning. And yet… music classes are an elective at best, for schools that can still afford to offer them.
As babies, we sing along before we can throw. We dance before we can run. Play music for a baby and see a smile. Put on a ball game and … well … hopefully the noise won’t induce crying. There’s no learning curve for appreciating music. We don’t need to have played it before we can feel how it moves us. Labor strife can shut down seasons. Life goes on just fine when those sports are paused. Imagine though if every MP3 player and every radio went on an extended strike.
Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate our priorities.