I just wrote the previous post about the ailing music business and saw a related article about struggles in music education.
Sounds pretty grim. One stat from the article was in NYC there is one music teacher per 1,200 students (in 2006). Ouch. That basically makes music education an impossible task.
I don’t want to appear unsympathetic to the public school system in NYC but I must admit it makes me even more grateful for the amazing music program at my childrens’ school, Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School. The program here fosters a love of music from the very beginning and the children quite naturally produce great music on a weekly basis. The curriculum includes singing, playing recorders and eventually learning string instruments (violin, viola, cello and bass).
That’s really great at face value. But there’s more to it than that. The real beauty is the integrated way all subjects are studied and music is often part of the way children learn. This approach solves the core problems written about in the article. However, getting a public school system to radically shift its pedagogy…well, that’s a tough one.