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The demise of music making

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LV426, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    I'm involved in a few musical groups, and most of them struggle to find musicians. It seems like people playing musical instruments are becoming increasingly rare. I'm talking about classical musical instruments, such as wind and strings.

    What I also notice is that hardly any kids are starting to play these instruments. At my daughter's school there is a pitiful lack of kids learning to play, the orchestra has just 4 players and the teachers have to help out. So unfortunately I don't see the situation improving in future years.
    It's very sad really, and music has many beneficial effects, including helping in areas like creativity, even mathematics. So studying music can assist other academic subjects. Shame that teaching of music is being de-prioritised in our schools. I really think that is a mistake.

    What's it like in the U.S? Is music making alive and well? Do you have a similar trend with lack of uptake in learning to play instruments?
     

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I'm my school, all students must play an instrument. Usually it's piano, but guitar, trumpet, violin, sax, drums, erhu, guzheng, etc. are popular. Same for many other schools in China as well.
     
    #2 mikedt, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  3. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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  4. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Android Expert
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    When I was in elementary school we had to learn an instrument; I tried my hand at violin, viola, cello and upright bass. It didn't stick. My sisters tried the same things and one went for some wind instrument (maybe French horn), none of that stuck either. I wanted to play drums but for whatever reason wasn't allowed to, I don't recall why now. My brother ended up playing bass guitar, that semi-stuck. He did the whole band/rock god thing through high school.

    When my kid went to school he didn't have to choose an instrument, but did take have to take music class. He wanted to play guitar but the school didn't 'offer' that so his private lessons counted as his music class. That stuck. He still plays and he's pretty darn good.

    My local sister has three kids, the two boys have tried various things and nothing has stuck for either of them. I think the older kid would be great at anything if he'd just give it a serious go. He seems to have a natural ability in there somewhere but is dyslexic with a lot of other learning issues, they are trying to teach him to read music and that's just never going to work so he's nothing but frustrated. My niece has been playing keyboard for a few years now, it's sticking so far. Out of all of my other nieces and nephews nothing ever stuck for them either. They all grew up in different states and were exposed to music class/instrument options.

    So, the exposure and opportunity is there through the schools but not everyone takes to it. Maybe it's too much work on top of homework and sports and whatever else they have to do or maybe they just aren't interested but it's certainly being offered. It's sort of like being made to learn a foreign language in school, I took Spanish and learned enough to pass the tests until I didn't have to take it anymore. I can ask where the bathroom is and order a beer so I guess it was helpful :D
     
  5. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    When you say "it didn't stick", do you mean they didn't like it, or got frustrated by not making progress?
    The initial phase of learning an instrument is hard. As a kid I started piano lessons, but didn't continue, I forget why. But now I really wish people had given me more encouragement to continue.
    I think playing in a musical ensemble is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things anyone can do, and I'm glad I do have an instrument I can play.

    But yes I know what you mean about 'other stuff' being done in schools. For example my daughter had to do lessons like 'design technology', 'textiles', and home economics. I mean no disrespect to anyone who makes a career out of these things, but surely music must come at a higher priority than some of this other stuff?
     
  6. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Android Expert
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    I had trouble making sense out of sheet music and really didn't get any help with it. It was just sort of thrown at us and we were expected to keep up. Had my teacher been better at making sure we were all on the same page it may have worked for me. He didn't take time for individual questions/issues/help. I do recall enjoying our 'concerts' and group practice but didn't do much practicing on my own. I could keep up by watching what the other kids were doing but couldn't read the dang music after a while. So, both. Frustration and lack of progress.

    I think the public schools (at least the ones I'm familiar with) try to expose kids to a bit of everything; foreign language, music, 'home ec', shop class (I really liked that!) etc. and leave it up to the kids to decide what they'd like to pursue. Everything isn't for everyone so I guess they just toss it all out there.

    On a side note (see what I did there), I've been learning guitar in the most half-assed way recently. The kid taught me basic chords and I took a few lessons (I stopped when my best pup got sick and then I blew my knee out so couldn't drive or sit or stand) and I do enjoy it. I don't practice as much as I should and will never be any good at it but I do like it. I'll probably start lessons up again at some point but am OK with just noodling around and picking stuff up from YouTube for now. It gives me something to do when nothing is on TV lol.
     
  7. tube517

    tube517 Android Expert
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    Don't know about other areas but it seems like every child I know is in orchestra. My nephew had the benefit of a nationally award winning high school orchestra teacher and their orchestra concerts weren't boring. The teacher was/is the difference, IMHO, but I see alot of kids taking orchestra now locally.
     
  8. bjacks12

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    Seems pretty popular still.
     
  9. Spdfreak34

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    Playing Cello was the best part of middle school. Unfortunately my parents couldn't afford to get me my own Cello so I had to give it up when I went to high school.

    I wouldn't try to pick it back up now.
     
  10. Torrid

    Torrid Android Enthusiast
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    I played trumpet through high school. Actually got pretty decent where it playing solo in public was a great experience. Played marching band freshman year of college, but after that, my interest tailed off. I dont even own a trumpet now, even though some people have said they would like to see me play again. In my immediate family, I am the only one that can play any kind of musical instrument. All that said, I look back at it now and think I may have had a natural ability to play drums--I think I would have been better at that.
     
  11. olbriar

    olbriar  
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    I tried my best to learn how to play the radio. I got half decent at it once but that was in my younger years. :rolleyes:
     
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