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The Forum > Article Comments > Let music lead Ruddís revolution > Comments

Let music lead Ruddís revolution : Comments

By Stephen Crabbe, published 22/2/2008

It is clear that music is essential to quality education, that most children arenít getting it, and that the Australian community wants it.

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Of course we need music in our class rooms. As we know most of us have trouble carrying a tune in a bucket, but, the opportunity to sing in a group, learn new songs, or types of music is something that should be available to all children.

I went to public schools in the US. From grade 4 every child was offered the opportunity to play a musical instrument in either the band or orchestra. We had two full time instrumental teachers. Those that chose to participate were given school instruments and of course there were always a zillion kids wanting to play flute or drums and nobody wanted to play oboe or French horn.
The 2 instrumental teachers worked with the kids giving all group lessons and twice weekly band and orchestra rehearsals.
Once we were in grade 8 through 12 we had daily band or orchestra rehearsals and only occasional sectional sessions as required.

At the high school level most kids had their own instruments but there were school instruments available for those that could not buy their own or in the case of large instruments such as drums/tuba/string base, it was not practical to carry to school every day.

Our band played at all high school football games including half time performances and pep rallies. Our orchestra was there for high school graduation ceremonies. And of course there always scheduled concerts for the school chorus, band and orchestra. We also marched in local parades (this I hated most).

However, these musical experiences were the best times of my childhood education. The musical skills I developed have stayed with me for my lifetime. 50 years on I continue to participate in chamber music. I have met some very interesting and fantastic people through my musical endeavors.

I think the Australian school children are missing out on a fantastic lifetime opportunity by not having the ability to learn to play musical instruments as a course of their schooling.
Posted by Bruce, Saturday, 23 February 2008 4:34:57 PM
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