Stormzy should replace Mozart in UK music classrooms, study says

Daryl

Senior Member
IMO. the problem is not so much the content of the lessons, but the uninspiring teaching. A talented teacher can make anything and any subject interesting. Unfortunately there are not enough talented teachers (in all subjects) to go around. I don't think the improved "results" shown in the study reflect that people shouldn't be studying Mozart. They reflect that struggling children need to have interesting opportunities and special attention. This could be stormzy, but it's the attention and interest that is important.

The second thing to note is that whilst not studying the "classics" may make lessons temporarily more interesting, one has to be careful not to shut off options for people who want to make a career out of music. I was lucky in that lessons were free. If my parents had had to pay for lessons, I wouldn't be where I am today.

It has also been known for a long time that studying an instrument usually makes children better students at other subjects. In the end it doesn't' matter what that instrument is, as long as they get something out of it. So, if they were to study stormzy, as long as there was studying, it miught not be such a bad thing for many children.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
It has also been known for a long time that studying an instrument usually makes children better students at other subjects.
Has a causation been verified, or is it simply correlation that better students tend to have interest in learning an instrument on the side, because they aren't struggling to get through school at all, like some others?


I agree with the rest though. A teacher change in physics made me drop from A and B grades to D grades because he failed to engage the class and everyone clocked out mentally. It was a night and day difference.
 

Daryl

Senior Member
Has a causation been verified..
Yes, and anecdotally I can verify it. There are various theories as to why though. Personally I think that one of the most important lessons is "make a noise, now don't make a noise". Students who are used to this are much better behaved in "normal" class lessons, because the discipline is automatic.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
In 2017, I had tickets for my wife and I to go and see James Newton Howard (conducting his first concert) at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The day before, our labrador gave birth to a little of pups, so my wife informed that she wasn't going.

So I took my 11 year old daughter with me instead. At first she wasn't keen, especially when mum made her wear a proper evening dress for the event. We sat down and then the music started. She was completely blown away.

Film clips were played along with the music, and when the Central Park cue from King Kong came on, by the end tears were rolling down her cheeks.

It's how you teach music as much as what you teach.

However, as regards Stormzy, I understand that a lot of his music is political, and as such, should not be taught in schools. It is not the place of schools to push political messages at our children.
 

Phil81

Active Member
Came across this story: https://news.sky.com/story/stormzy-should-replace-mozart-in-uk-music-classrooms-study-says-11725859

National charity Youth Music has suggested that Stormzy should replace Mozart in modern curriculums, as well as introducing other types of modern music (Grime & Rap from the sounds of it).

I personally think that modernisation would be good, but Grime, Rap, Trap, Techno, House, etc aren't the answer. Students need something rich in theory to dig into, such as Film Music or Jazz.

What do you think?
"to refresh the national plan for music education and develop a high-quality model music curriculum".

hahahaha. this made my day.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Modern music can still be analyzed for its valid musical elements. Whether you believe rap is music or not, there is a rhythm study that can be done with good rap. As an additive to the music curriculum, I think that's fine. As a replacement? I think that's a negative. What I do find interesting is how dismissive people are of rap as "non-music" and the standards they seem to think are required for music. There's often this west vs. everything else perspective in music that seems to think lesser of the musical norms of cultures that are not adherent to western standards. African styles of music are highly rhythmical with less emphasis on the melodic structure but based on the comment from Jerry Garcia, rhythm and meter alone are not enough to classify it as "music." There are various Asian culture that use non-typical scales and tones compared to the west, and again it seems like often elitist will classify it as cultural, but not musical. I consider that way of thought a major failing of the current curriculum. Music is music, and the quality may vary, but there is a way to analyze and a value to analyzing all forms of music, even if we don't get it.

Adam Neely has a nice video about this and the cult of the written score. How we put up certain styles on a pedestal and ignore what "music" is, and the validity of current music and scores.

 

Phil81

Active Member
Modern music can still be analyzed for its valid musical elements. Whether you believe rap is music or not, there is a rhythm study that can be done with good rap. As an additive to the music curriculum, I think that's fine. As a replacement? I think that's a negative. What I do find interesting is how dismissive people are of rap as "non-music" and the standards they seem to think are required for music. There's often this west vs. everything else perspective in music that seems to think lesser of the musical norms of cultures that are not adherent to western standards. African styles of music are highly rhythmical with less emphasis on the melodic structure but based on the comment from Jerry Garcia, rhythm and meter alone are not enough to classify it as "music." There are various Asian culture that use non-typical scales and tones compared to the west, and again it seems like often elitist will classify it as cultural, but not musical. I consider that way of thought a major failing of the current curriculum. Music is music, and the quality may vary, but there is a way to analyze and a value to analyzing all forms of music, even if we don't get it.

Adam Neely has a nice video about this and the cult of the written score. How we put up certain styles on a pedestal and ignore what "music" is, and the validity of current music and scores.

I don't think most over here are discrediting other forms of music but criticizing the replacement of classical music with. There are several reasons why classical music is the appropriate choice in academia. I might address it in an article later. I'll post the link over here later.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
I don't think most over here are discrediting other forms of music but criticizing the replacement of classical music with. There are several reasons why classical music is the appropriate choice in academia. I might address it in an article later. I'll post the link over here later.
No doubt classical is an important study and should not be thrown out, but part of the curriculum favors what is familiar. Putting three issue of classical aside, I would argue that more could be learned from modern Japanese pop than current western pop. If we were to try and analyze frequency and tone, then as Adam Neely shows, even EDM has its place.

Rap from at least the 80s and 90s did have unique application of rhythm and if the fact that it’s only rhythm disqualifies it as music (again referencing garcia’s Comment) then what are percussion sections?

Academia could benefit from a more inclusive stance on music. Still I agree, it should not throw out classical as the article title implies.
 
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Phil81

Active Member
A talented teacher can make anything and any subject interesting. Unfortunately there are not enough talented teachers (in all subjects) to go around.
I respectfully disagree. A teacher shouldn't be treated as an entertainer but rather someone with enough knowledge to share. Kids must have the responsibility to understand that school is a "workplace for the mind" which reminds me of the importance of parenting.

The second thing to note is that whilst not studying the "classics" may make lessons temporarily more interesting, one has to be careful not to shut off options for people who want to make a career out of music. I was lucky in that lessons were free. If my parents had had to pay for lessons, I wouldn't be where I am today.
K-12 and Higher education should always provide the highest standards of information across all subjects, regardless how interesting they are or not. The average kid/teen does not have enough knowledge and experience to decide what to pursue except the fake perception of "passion" that accumulates by being drawn into something that was perhaps temporarily "fun".

It has also been known for a long time that studying an instrument usually makes children better students at other subjects. In the end it doesn't' matter what that instrument is, as long as they get something out of it. So, if they were to study stormzy, as long as there was studying, it miught not be such a bad thing for many children.
I agree except that I would not feel comfortable as a parent if my kid were to study Stormzy as I wouldn't want him/her to have political or any sort of biased influence at such early age.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
I respectfully disagree. A teacher shouldn't be treated as an entertainer but rather someone with enough knowledge to share. Kids must have the responsibility to understand that school is a "workplace for the mind" which reminds me of the importance of parenting.



K-12 and Higher education should always provide the highest standards of information across all subjects, regardless how interesting they are or not. The average kid/teen does not have enough knowledge and experience to decide what to pursue except the fake perception of "passion" that accumulates by being drawn into something that was perhaps temporarily "fun".



I agree except that I would not feel comfortable as a parent if my kid were to study Stormzy as I wouldn't want him/her to have political or any sort of biased influence at such early age.
This is where i feel double standards and misconceptions come up. Without trying to get too political, in America, not enough schools even fund musical programs for this to be at all fair. Here in japan school as a “workplace for mind” creates obedient students, but not very creative or critical ones.

I don’t think young minds lack the ability to decide what they want to learn, but you can’t choose to learn something you don’t know exists. I went to a great school that provided great education and great options. Having access to so many options gave students the ability to have a general knowledge of many topics, and then select the ones the were most passionate about. Again this condition only really exists when kids have access to information and technology that makes their choices broad and rewarding.

As for stormzy being political, I honestly don’t know his work but to try and divorce the musical experience from politics sells music of the last 100 years short and also leads itself to bias. Why is stormzy bad, but the Beatles ok? Politics taught with a bias is good for no one, but the history of music, even the political kind should be encourage so long as it’s unbiased and used to give context.

I support rap and stormzy being added to a full and complete course on music and music history, so long as it remains in context.
 

Phil81

Active Member
Here in japan school as a “workplace for mind” creates obedient students, but not very creative or critical ones.
Yes, I'm right next door to you (Korea); however, it's not entirely all that black and white over here as perhaps is over there.

I don’t think young minds lack the ability to decide what they want to learn, but you can’t choose to learn something you don’t know exists. I went to a great school that provided great education and great options. Having access to so many options gave students the ability to have a general knowledge of many topics, and then select the ones the were most passionate about. Again this condition only really exists when kids have access to information and technology that makes their choices broad and rewarding.
I believe you misunderstood my second paragraph entirely. "young minds lack the ability to decide what they want to learn" is not what I meant at all. I meant under the circumstances in which they are in. Context is everything. They don't have enough knowledge and experience to choose what they want to pursue at such age; therefore schools must have a higher standard of education. It's the school and the department for education's job to implement the highest standards of education possible - something that's impossible in America or the UK because...well..both governments' expressive lack of interest.


Why is stormzy bad, but the Beatles ok?
The Beatles were not really taught in schools across the U.K as far as I know, unless the school I attended was out of the ordinary.


so long as it remains in context.
Stripped down to its instrumentals?
 

halfwalk

Active Member
Things I've learned from this thread:

- Beyonce and Usher are apparently rappers, not R&B/pop singers.

- Drummers are not musicians.

- Lyrics, no matter how clever or artful they may seem, are of no intellectual value whatsoever.

- Classical music is objectively the best music, don't bother disagreeing.

- Everyone knows what's best for someone else's kids.

- Only the "disruptive types" enjoy rap music and the famine and disease it brings.

- All rap is exactly the same.

- Greatness only exists in the past.

- If you don't like it, then it's not really art.

- Apples are oranges but only when it fits a certain narrative.

- The cultural impact of music is not worth discussing in an educational context.
 
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chocobitz825

Senior Member
Stripped down to its instrumentals?
Actually I think discussing the lyrical content of even political music helps develop more critical thought about life and music. We discuss often how lyrics, melody and rhythm connect and why certain phrases begin and end where they do.

Music education doesn’t have to have an opinion about the politics to analyze why music was made the way it was. I’ve heard many school choirs and bands perform “let it be”. Is that not in part political song motivated by its time? Classical songs, and operas also had political motivations and messages.

As for modern music, pop music and rap may not be melodically complicated, but they do have value in sound design, pitch, modulation and sometimes advanced rhythms. Even to discuss rap, the earliest forms of rap were not as complex rhythmically as the 80’s/90s became, but it did come out of jazz and disco music, and much of the earliest rap samples jazz and r&b. To do so meant understanding rhythm and how to connect various song elements together both in rhythm and key. Around the 90s far more complex rhythm in rap became common. Even if the beat was a simple 4/4 the spoken rhythm and emphasis of phrases with the message showed a natural sense for advanced rhythms. One could even say that recent metal music shares a similar trend of less melodic development but more focus on rhythm and pedal tone riffing. All these things can then also be linked back to classical for western music and the influence classical had in developing genres like jazz and metal.

So anyways, all music is valuable. Don't knock rap just because you don’t get it (general open statement to this thread, not aimed at you specifically)
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
I should also say something that is unpopular but true. The reason why music education tends to not hit with young people, is because most people don’t really love music. Not like we do. Most people love the experience of music. They like the stars, they liked the cult of it all. As music has become more accessible than ever now, we’re seeing people far less into it, why? Because unlike when media dictated popular media and created the frenzy around superstars for people to consume, most people now have the choice to engage in other popular media instead of music. People like cult tv shows now more than music. When faced with the challenge of now searching through all the music in the world at their fingertips in their phones, they instead choose to binge watch game of thrones.

Music filled itself into thinking it was some universal language and something as important as air or water to people and it just never naturally has been that important. People just don’t love music that much to actively search it out, much less study its history and deeper workings.
 

David Cuny

Summer, we hardly knew ye.
That's an incredibly misleading article. :mad:

The actual context:

Youth Music is a national charity investing in music-making projects that help children and young people develop personally and socially as well as musically. We work particularly with those who don’t get to make music because of who they are, where they live, or what they’re going through. Young people take the lead in choosing what and how they want to learn, making music of every style and genre.
(Emphasis added)

Why not check out their website? Their program looks really cool.

Just saying. :whistling:
 

Saxer

Senior Member
It's bullshit to replace Mozart by Stormzy but it's also bullshit to teach only the Mozart's and ignore all the Stormzy's out there.

I understand the idea of picking kids up in their range of experience. It's important to understand what you know. But it's also important to get open minded for unknown territories.
 

toomanynotes

Active Member
It's bullshit to replace Mozart by Stormzy but it's also bullshit to teach only the Mozart's and ignore all the Stormzy's out there.

I understand the idea of picking kids up in their range of experience. It's important to understand what you know. But it's also important to get open minded for unknown territories.
I still don't understand, who is Stormzy?
 

David Cuny

Summer, we hardly knew ye.
It's bullshit to replace Mozart by Stormzy but it's also bullshit to teach only the Mozart's and ignore all the Stormzy's out there.
The actual quote (referring to the Youth Music program):
Matt Griffiths said:
We’ve seen the benefits of students exchanging Mozart for Stormzy as part of a re-imagined music curriculum.
Stormzy's response to the British media's coverage: