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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 15 2014, 09:43 PM
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Read this thread about ear training has got me thinking on the following: how good is music training in schools in your country?

In my country we have "music class" for 8 years of primary school. It was around 2 classes per week.
I personally loved those classes as we had a piano in the classroom on which I'd play some boogie rock when I get a chance and manage to "hack" the lock on it between classes laugh.gif

But thinking now back, I think those classes were pretty poorly organized and didn't bring much value. For example, we were all playing some kind of basic flute (not sure what is the correct term). Also, teachers were not playing the piano for us or very rarely sad.gif I remember being amazed when a teacher or musical school student would get to perform for us. Such thing was a huge highlight for me and it was so inspiring. It was organized in such a way that all kids got good grades whatever they did so no one really tried any harder to learn something.

We had some basic theory and learned some songs like twinkle twinkle little star.

I have a vivid moment when a music teacher caught me playing piano on the "pause" between classes and she was like: where did you learn to play like that? I was like : "well....midi files found online? smile.gif You get all the notes if you look at the piano roll laugh.gif". She didn't know what I was talking about.

I think music classes are extremely important but somehow at least in my country, those "Art" classes never get understood seriously (unlike physics, math etc). Same thing with "Painting classes", yet good musical training for young kids feels important?
I for one got fascinated with music and playing at the early age and those classes, even though looking back poorly organized were my highlights of the school week. Too bad we didn't have something more comprehensive or modern.

What is/was the situation in schools where you live?


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Mertay
post Dec 15 2014, 10:38 PM
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Argh I hated that flute biggrin.gif I did manage to convince the teacher that instead I do solfege, they already knew I played guitar and were cool about it.

Education level was very poor. Someone who graduates from high school here only has a faint idea of what notes are and thats about it smile.gif

Teachers education is also poor. I have a friend who went to university to become a music teacher, went to his school for a visit though he did warn me the level was low I felt really sad for those students who would become teachers when they graduate...

But if the teacher is good at character and wants to help then it doesn't matter much. I remember my teacher helped us the best he could when we formed a school band. We went to competitions, made a concert on the school yard...was really fun, he helped organize and motivated us and all we did was working on the songs.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Dec 15 2014, 10:39 PM


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klasaine
post Dec 16 2014, 12:58 AM
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Since the late 70s in the States most of the music in public schools is reserved for what we call magnet or charter schools. These are schools that place some (or a lot of) emphasis on arts and humanities. In general they are very good. I coach rhythm section players (how to play in a 'rhythm section') and general improv at one of these 'magnet' schools.

And of course after high school we have the Berklee School of Music, NYU, the New School, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman, Cal State Northridge, USC, University of Miami, North Texas State, Julliard, etc. And then there are the music 'technical' schools like the L.A. Music Academy (LAMA) and of course MI/GIT (which is having it's curriculum totally re-vamped as I write this).

A lot of really great choices here if that's the road you wanna take.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Dec 16 2014, 02:39 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Dec 16 2014, 04:18 AM
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In primary school it was a bit awful. I didn't get decent music education until college and by that time I was already self taught.


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AK Rich
post Dec 16 2014, 06:21 AM
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I don't know why, but my memories of music in public schools here in the states seems to be a bit different than Ken and Todd's.
I went to school durring the 70's and 80's.

Even before primary school there was Kindergarten, Preprimer, or Preschool where we learned to sing, starting with the old do re mi fa so la ti do song. We would learn songs as a group and put on performances for our parents, complete with costumes. laugh.gif

Then in Elementary School,(grades 1-6) I am pretty sure it was mandatory to participate in performances where you would have to at least sing, and we were introduced to a few instruments such as the autoharp, ukulele, xylophone, the recorder (I think this is the flute like instrument you were thinking of Bogdan) and some instrument with keys like a keyboard but I think you blow into it to produce a sound (can't remember the name) there was probably a few more that I don't remember. I always played the autoharp or ukulele and sang.

Then in Junior High (grades 7-8) there was more of the same but voluntary I think. Also there was the choir and marching band as well where you could learn percussion or a variety of horn instruments etc, or you could be in the school orchestra and learn to play the instruments associated with that. (Horns , woodwinds, percussion , stringed etc ) Again there were plays and performances for the school and for parents, as well as sporting events like football games where the marching band would perform.

Then in High School (grades 9-12) There were all of the things that were in Junior High but also some courses for vocal techniques and acoustic guitar with fingerpicking. (both of which I took) and piano as well I think. The last High School I went to here in Alaska where I graduated, had just built a very nice auditorium complete with all the latest recording equipment and rack effects units etc.
I had a lot of fun in the guitar class. I could already play some of the popular rock and metal songs and before the class would start, some of the other students would gather around my chair to check out some of the recent riffs I had learned. tongue.gif
I took the class because I didn't know how to sight read very well. still can't. laugh.gif I used to cheat on occasion and learn the songs by ear and act like I was sight reading. rolleyes.gif Actually it was probably more like learning the songs from the sheet music , then playing them from memory. or a bit of both.

So overall, I would have to say that you could get a really good start in music in the public school system here in the states if you applied yourself. The opportunities were definitely there. I am fairly certain that you could get a music scholarship for college if you were good enough at the instrument you played.

This post has been edited by AK Rich: Dec 16 2014, 04:44 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 19 2014, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ Dec 16 2014, 06:21 AM) *
Then in Elementary School,(grades 1-6) I am pretty sure it was mandatory to participate in performances where you would have to at least sing, and we were introduced to a few instruments such as the autoharp, ukulele, xylophone, the recorder (I think this is the flute like instrument you were thinking of Bogdan) and some instrument with keys like a keyboard but I think you blow into it


Yes - I just googled it. We only had a choice of playing recorder in our classes. Heheh I just had a funny flashback of our whole class playing recorder and making mistakes on it ahahha smile.gif It kinda has annoying sound, I think I drove my parents crazy when practicing smile.gif

Really amazing story about your music education, it sounds to me like heaven. We don't really have any extra activities (like school plays, sport events with marching band etc). I think that is what mostly sucks about our local education system which is in other areas really good overall. Unfortunately, music is left aside after primary school (8 years length) so I didn't have it in high school. But I went to a technical high school (air traffic oriented) and I'm not sure if we have music classes in regular "gymnasium" type of high schools which feature a pretty non specific curriculum (includes a little bit from everything).

I think music education is really important and just having contact with instruments. For example, I didn't get to touch or be exposed to any other than keyboards/piano instruments (+the damn recorder flute hehe) until I got my own guitar. Thinking now about it, I don't think I had a chance of "trying" to play too many instruments in total which I'd love to have a go at, I just didn't get a chance. I could go to a music store I guess and try trumpet or saxophone but I'm too shy to do as I know absolutely nothing about playing those instruments and I'm not sure if they even let you try out those types of instruments. If instruments would be available in public schools early on, kids would be able to figure out which instrument really works well for them and maybe get "hooked" early on.


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