It was a stressful morning for music teaching last Saturday! An accident on the highway made me run late, and when I finally got settled, my portable speaker wouldn’t connect to my phone to play my recordings. I finally got things working in time for the last song, but I had to sing and use acapella percussion for all of the other activities. Music Together encourages teachers to use no more than three recorded tracks per class, so while it was frustrating, it didn’t derail my lesson plans too much.
It actually brought to mind WHY Music Together encourages very little use of recorded music in class. As a society, we “consume” most of our music. Music is on the radio, it is in the background in restaurants and stores, it’s in our headphones while we commute or exercise. Sometimes, we’ll go to concerts and watch other perform. But very few times will we actually create music ourselves.
Recorded music has only been available to the masses for the last century! Before that, unless people made music themselves, they didn’t have music in their lives. While it makes me happy that recorded music is so accessible today, it removes the need for people to create. It also creates the mindset that, unless people are professionals, they are unqualified to make music.
I love that in my music classes families and friends come together and actually CREATE music. We sing together, we play instruments together, we dance together. While we’re not going to win a grammy for our efforts, everyone feels uplifted and energized by the end of class.
Malfunctioning speaker or not, music class went on that morning, and maybe we were better for ‘consuming’ music a little less and ‘creating’ music a little more.