Just read an article, drawn to it as I was by the headlines, in The Sydney Morning Herald about classical music by someone called Tim Dick. Headlines of this nature attract attention and can make people very angry. I was not angry because, as a wise person once said, ”when we get angry we close our eyes.” I would love to be assured that it was either Aristotle or Socrates and would happily know the author of this thought.
What I deduced from the article was that Mr Dick has had a bad experience with classical music. This can happen; most people I know who play this so-called classical music have had a bad experience somewhere, sometime, somehow with music.
Nonetheless, I’d like to invite Mr Dick and his guest, to attend, as my guests, the Sydney Sinfonia’s first Discovery concert in march 2010 in which we Discover Gustav Mahler. I want to have the chance to demonstrate that classical music has the power to change lives in a positive way. I don’t want necessarily to change Mr Dick because that presumes arrogance on my part, but I want him to know the other side of the coin.
It is good to have people such as Mr Dick out there as it helps to keep us honest and think about the way we play music. While I do not agree with a single thing he said I do defend his right to say it and I hope he will take me up on my offer.
ANGER AND FRUSTATION BOILED OVER IN ME THIS WEEK SO MUCH SO THAT I WENT ON A SHOUTING RAMPAGE.
EVERYTHING I’VE SAID ABOUT ANGER I FORGOT WHEN I LEARNED THAT
A COLLEAGUE OF MINE’S DAUGHTER, A THIRD GRADER, HAD A SCHOOL CONCERT AND THE WHOLE SCHOOL PERFORMED TO A BACKING TRACK WHILE LIP-SYNCHING TO THE MUSIC OF A WELL-KNOWN POP PERSON WHO HAS BEEN LIP-SYNCHING HER WAY AROUND AUSTRALIA.
Someone’s being paid a teacher’s salary for that clap-trap, for that outrageous, unmusical, unmitigated mind destroying rubbish. Then when I calmed down a little I thought about the possible advantages of lip-synching and came up with the idea that at least the kids had to listen to something and concentrate and possibly memorise something from which some good might have come. But it is tragic to think that this is probably not an isolated example.
I will keep saying it until the governments do something about it, but we are a musically bereft nation and until every child in this country is receiving proper music instruction from a fully-qualified music teacher we will remain forever a cultural back-water. Why do some people believe that a serious music education is too hard for children? That sort of belief is a type of cringe. We say implicitly to the child: “a serious music education is too hard for you, you poor dumb little Australian mis-fit of a child, so we’ll give you some clap-trap from an imported no-talent, lack-lustre, unmusical personage so you can lip-synch?????” Tragic beyond belief.
Cultural back-waters seem to hold little interest for Mr Garrett and there are calls from him for thoughts about a new cultural policy. Great idea and thank you Mr Garrett. However, to underpin a cultural policy we need outstanding school-based education in all cultural endeavours if the country is to become serious about these matters. I can’t imagine lip-synching is high on Mr Garrett’s agenda.