Although there haven't been that many responses, have you seen the number of views? That alone might be a reason to preserve music, just that so many people show an interest in keeping it in schools, even if they don't know how to put that interest into words.
From third grade, I was in music until my junior year of high school. I decided to try theatre my senior year. Both disciplines, and the people I met in them, were wonderful for me. They were among the most interesting, funny, joyful people I've ever met. I've never found people like them to replace them. I miss just hanging around musical people. I hope Australian school kids are never deprived of those associations, those friendships. I hope no school kids anywhere are ever deprived of those associations, those friendships.
p.s. I have to correct myself. Journalists were also great fun to be around. Hypographers are beginnig to seem like they might be too.
Thanks lemit, that is a lovely post.
To "come clean" and "bare my soul"
I have musical women in my family yet I missed out on musical education despite my father and grandfather playing the piano and other instruments. I have always felt the loss. I'm really not much into music; I rarely listen to it. ( My favorite sound, now rarely heard, is my wife playing piano late at night). However one daughter is likely to have a shot at a professional career in music. She now has three degrees in music, including post graduate work in London. She is now trained by names you would know well. (At $160 an hour- as much as a psychologist!-This she raises by herself)
I have watched these kids and what they have been through, the work they have done to get to the position they have now. The number of forms my wife has helped her fill in. The amount of support and money she has needed to raise from the community.
Strangely, one daughter has chosen journalism, (if anyone asks, I tell them she is a used-car saleswomen!
) and now rarely plays the two instruments I spent a fortune on educating her in. She does have an amazing "ear" for language and can mimic accents so easily. I find it hard to understand why someone who has the skills to play, doesn't. They mumble about being "not good enough"; for a non-musical trained person, I find this incomprehensible and sad.
This wasn't meant to be a life history, so to cut to the chase, I was once asked if i was proud of my kids. "Proud? Why should I be proud? It has nothing to do with me. They did what they did, they are the ones that should feel proud. I am just relived and eternally grateful that they are not drug addicts." My wife overheard me (who now tells me not to mention her on the net!) and said "Drug addicts! They were too busy with their music to become drug addicts!"
My background is in psychiatric nursing, welfare, staff development and training, sociology, technical education, business and psychology. So I started to think that something needs to be done to get more kids some music training. It is very poorly resourced in my area, especially classical. When I was rich I could afford $30-60 an hour for music lessons, $1,500-$6,000+ for professional like instruments, $50 for a few pages of sheet music, music camps, traveling etc etc. Now I am poor, and it seems to me that many, like me, would not be in any position to pay for a musical education.
I have had the concept of a self-funding Music Education Trust Fund
for some years.
Recently a charitable community development organisation asked for people who could provide music education for toddlers. I went along to that meeting and found that the government had provided $2M for community development in one 'poor' area. The parents, when asked what they wanted for their kids, had said "Music!". Much to everyone's surprise!
Now, in two weeks, I have my first public meeting to launch "my" Music Education Trust Fund, Future Fund
(First job, will be a better name!
). I am as nervous as hell, unusual for me.
Local politicians have been very supportive, but music education is like motherhood--hard to oppose. When I ask for money they become quiet. Other local activists in music I have talked to, are burnt out and bitter. They don't want to know; having banged their heads against bureaucratic brick walls for years. Professional musicians are too busy earning a living, teaching, playing, rehearsing and fighting each other. Sport is incredibly well funded (over-funded?) in Australia, and gets all sorts of exceptional tax breaks ( football Clubs are allowed poker machines; say no more?). Recently, we have had a spate of aggression, corruption, abuse, drugs and bastardy from the football field (It just, "Isn't cricket"!). This unacceptable "role model" behaviour has alienated many especially women--the ones who take their kids to football games and training. so hopefully music may get something from that reaction.
Established music groups are terrified that I might take away or compete with them for what little funding is available.
I am using this thread to help me make my case. It has been extremely helpful. Music Advocacy groups in the US have been very generous and supportive with ideas, supportive emails and websites.
Now I guess I am using the thread to store the best articles my "Google Alerts" come up with.
Now, also, I guess, to calm my nerves.
What if you gave a party and no-one came????
Already I have had my first request for help (Hold on, we don't have a bank account yet--let alone money!!). A local social worker has a young government ward in foster-care. The high point of his week is a 30 min guitar lesson. This was being funded by the "Department of Youth and Community Services". Now they say they don't have the money ($20 PW). The kid's social worker is appalled, as she feels that the music is really helping the kid heal a few scars. She also shockingly said, in a thow away comment, "His music teacher is the first decent male role model this kid has had". Those words go into your brain and becomes an explosive little time -bomb of meaning and horror.
Well I hope you are still reading? That is why; this thread- Thank you everyone for helping get me this far!