• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Topic: american public school music

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Question american public school music

    I've been wondering about this for sometime and would like to get some comments and recomendations.
    1. Should western tonal music history be taught as an academic course in High School?
    2. Should sight singing and ear training be taught in High School?
    3. Should there be a minimum requirement of music curriculum in High School? (music appreciation)
    4. Should there be a music technology component required of those who pursue music and/or arts in High School?
    5. Should there be a piano study requirement for High School music participants?


    I realize that this is suggestive of AP courses some High Schools offer as electives at present and that the resistance to change from a mostly performance based elective (choir, Band, Orch.) would requrie a major change in the way music is and has been taught in public schools since Boston, MA in the late 1800s. The national standards that have been out there some 10 yrs now are mostly ignored in preference to pleasing the athletic bands, and minimal public offerings of concert performance.
    Thanks all for you comments in advance.
    John

  2. #2

    Re: american public school music

    1. Should western tonal music history be taught as an academic course in High School?
    That depends on the size of the high school. For example, my school has 450 students and only 1 music director who handles band and chorus for grades 7-12. Yet, due to the demand for a music theory class, the school has created one for a few students (even though we only get music theory for about 40 minutes per week).

    2. Should sight singing and ear training be taught in High School?
    This depends on the students. The students who want to become better musicians or singers should be given the opportunity for sight singing and ear training in high school. Students that don't want to further themselves musically, they will probably lack interest in these courses.

    3. Should there be a minimum requirement of music curriculum in High School? (music appreciation)
    No. Students that don't want to be involved in music shouldn't be. Although giving students a chance to experience music is nice, they can sometimes hold back students that want to further themselves musically. For example, in the senior high concert band at my high school, we have only about 1/4 to 1/3 that are there to play music. The others are there because they see the class as an easy A or a chance to be with their friends. It's this larger group that keeps us from playing the more challenging music.

    4. Should there be a music technology component required of those who pursue music and/or arts in High School?
    No. Not everyone deals with music technology. Should someone who wants to perform on broadway have to learn how to use Finale?

    5. Should there be a piano study requirement for high school music participants?
    Once again, no. Many students at my school detest the piano and prefer drums, guitar, or another instrument. Piano study should be an elective to students. After that, it just comes down to how much time the students have open in their schedules for piano study (I don't have any time in mine this year).
    Colton J. Provias
    Film Score Composer, Location Sound Mixer, and Sound Editor
    Full-stack Web Developer

  3. #3

    Re: american public school music

    My high school offered all this and more (many decades ago).

    Cass Technical High (Detroit, MI)

    You declared a 'major' (in my case, Music). You could also major in Art, Science, Phys Ed, Poli Sci, even things as obscure as 'HVAC Tech'.

    I remember taking Music History, "Elements" (using Hindemith's 'Elementary Training for Musicians'), Harmony, and Counterpoint. They also had 3 orchestras, 3 bands, 2 choirs, and numerous chamber and percussion ensembles.

    This was a public, inner-city high school. Like I said, this was a long time
    ago (the 60's). I have no idea what it's like now.

    - k
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  4. #4

    Re: american public school music

    I hold the somewhat rare view that American high schools in general should be completely abolished. Thus I don't think just about anything should be required. It would be nice if they were offered of course, though by virtue of their being electives, the grading of such classes should be quite different from standard required courses (based more on learning and less on assessing).

    However, I do think basic music theory, such as what the notes are, how to read treble and bass clefs, and how to play simple tunes on a keyboard should be required in elementary school (though not necessarily required learning... i.e. the grades shouldn't matter, but the information should be introduced).
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5

    Re: american public school music

    The No Child Left Behind program, overwhelmingly voted in by Congress, has taken music education in public school and just about choked it to death. Schools are compelled to emphasize reading and math to the exclusion of all else.

    I'm sorry to say that your questions are good ones but they are too advanced. The big question is, "Does your neighborhood school still offer choir, band or strings, and if not, how can you get them reinstated?"
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  6. #6

    Re: american public school music

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    I hold the somewhat rare view that American high schools in general should be completely abolished.
    I agree. High school in America is adult day care. Just put it out of it's misery already.

    The net effect of public school (elementary school in particular) is to try and make everyone as mediocre as possible at everything, and to behave in a uniform fashion. Instead people should be mastering skills and trades.

    Don't let them turn you into slave drones!

  7. #7

    Re: american public school music

    Quote Originally Posted by taylorchandler
    I've been wondering about this for sometime and would like to get some comments and recomendations.
    1. Should western tonal music history be taught as an academic course in High School?
    2. Should sight singing and ear training be taught in High School?
    3. Should there be a minimum requirement of music curriculum in High School? (music appreciation)
    4. Should there be a music technology component required of those who pursue music and/or arts in High School?
    5. Should there be a piano study requirement for High School music participants?

    John
    I go to a large school (like 4000 students total) and much of this is offered in our school already. Of course, we have resources smaller schools might lack, such as enough money to have a large and very good music program in addition to great academic (core) subjects.

    1. I am a senior this year, and I am taking Music Theory 2, which is based on much of the AP material (although it is not AP Music Theory), which covers western tonal music theory, and we also have Sibelius 5 in our lab, which is very nice.

    2. We do ear training using our compositions as well as Sibelius Aurialia in M. T. 2. We don't do much sight singing.

    3. I think that it would be a good idea, but it probably wouldn't work for the reasons that C. J. gave earlier.

    4. Only if what they are doing requires it. In our Theory class, we all have to learn how to use Sibelius, but we don't have to know anything really about midi or sample libraries or sequencers (obviously I do, but most of them don't). However, this is not necessary for playing instruments, and if anyone wants to learn, they can talk to the theory teacher, or pick it up on their own like I have.

    5. There should not be a requirement for piano study for general students. Again, we had to learn some piano skills for the music theory class, but most people shouldn't have to learn piano. Our school is considering offering lessons next year directly, but it will be an elective course.

    Our school requires 1 year of fine and/or practical arts to graduate, and these can be obtained from any of a number of courses. There are plenty of music courses offered at my school, but they are elective classes, and I think they should stay that way so only the students who want to do them will.

    Just my opinions,

    Richard

  8. #8

    Re: american public school music

    Hey everyone,

    I went to a public high school in a very large county (Fairfax County, VA), and here are my responses based on what was offered and what I wanted to be offered in my high school:

    1. Western Tonal History should be taught if the resources at the school are available; however, as a music major now I have not found very many people who have had this opportunity in high school, yet all get along just fine in their music history classes. It would be nice, though. Music Theory, on the other hand, should definitely be tought at public high schools, hands down. (My high school had a music theory class, soon to be AP theory.)

    2. Yes and yes, both in the theory course. It definitely helps later on if you major in music. (In my high school we were trained in both, although slightly more emphasis was put on ear training/dictation.)

    3. No. If you don't have any interest in music, than you shouldn't be forced to take a music class; it takes away from those who truly want to learn.

    4. There should be a music technology class/course offered, but it should not be required. (My high school offered a program in which classes such as music technology could be taken at another school, however, transportation and class times often conflict.) It should also teach Finale (versus Sibelius), based solely on the fact that it is what it taught at most music schools. (I do agree that Sibelius is way easier.)

    5. No. The basics of piano should be taught (location of middle c, etc) but actual playing should not be emphasised.

    Personally, I feel that if high schools started running their music programs with all of these required classes and studies, they would begin to take on a role currently filled by collegiate music schools or specialized performing arts high schools, and this, I believe, will lead to less intensive covering of the basics of music theory and history, which could possibly lead to problems later in higher level musical study.

    Just a thought.

    -Ken

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •