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Stormzy should replace Mozart in UK music classrooms, study says

Jonathan Sharp

Heartwood Soundware
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.
Things I've learned form this thread :

- All the above.

- If you'll forgive the generalisation, 99% of this forum appear to be middle aged, middle class, white males.

Me, I'll take grime over mozart any day of the week.
 

Daryl

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.
Yes, but a teacher who is uninspiring will put children off subjects. I can testify to that personally..! It's no good having all the information at your fingertips if you can't impart it in an interesting way.
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".
And if it's not interesting, many children will switch off and learn nothing. It's not about temprary "fun", it's about fostering an engagement with a subject.
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.
It depends on the age. I have no problem with children in high school learning about politics in music, as long as it's put into context, and all sides are explored. Everything in music has a historical and social context, and these are legitimate areas for a student to explore. Failing to do so leaves us with a population that knows facts, and has qualifications, but is uneducated.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Yes, but a teacher who is uninspiring will put children off subjects. I can testify to that personally..! It's no good having all the information at your fingertips if you can't impart it in an interesting way.

And if it's not interesting, many children will switch off and learn nothing. It's not about temprary "fun", it's about fostering an engagement with a subject.

It depends on the age. I have no problem with children in high school learning about politics in music, as long as it's put into context, and all sides are explored. Everything in music has a historical and social context, and these are legitimate areas for a student to explore. Failing to do so leaves us with a population that knows facts, and has qualifications, but is uneducated.
Teach them HOW to think not WHAT to think.
I’m still raising kids and I guarantee you their head is into sports, music and women.
I was fortunate to live in a neighborhood predominately Asian.
It was good for my sons to see parents stricter than me.

My youngest had a Taiwanese buddy, school called me one day to come pick up my boy and Li was with him. Had to take them for a Hepatitis C vaccination.
So Li ran inside his house and came back out to go, his mothers English was so-so, but she ran out waving the piece of paper angry at her son.
In broken English she says “Why you no get Hepatitis A”.
She thought it was a report card or something.
They’re seriously into education.
It’s not cool to be a fool with them.
 

Eloy

Member
Instead of teaching the foundations (apply to all subjects) - let’s teach culture.
Example: no need to teach standard English - let’s teach Ebonics.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Instead of teaching the foundations (apply to all subjects) - let’s teach culture.
Example: no need to teach standard English - let’s teach Ebonics.
Condescending.

I would have to wonder then, based in this logic, should American schools, for example, teach only the Queen’s English? Should we actually be teaching Latin first?

In reality this is why dictionaries constantly update and add modern words officially to their records. Language changes and as the new becomes normal it too is added to the curriculum.


The ironic thing is, this condescending tone against “urban” music mirrors how academia was once against adding blues and jazz. I’ll leave out the racial implications and just say at the time both were deemed too urban and other to be worth acknowledging. So in the current context, if you taught kids jazz before classical, would they be lesser musicians because of it? If you engage students with something familiar with the goal of getting them to classical, is it really all that bad?

Funny thing about language. We actually do teach culture, rather than "standard english". It is always changing because of culture. Webster's site even has an article about the common slang words that become "normal" English. They reference the following as 1916 slang that is now common:

Here are some of the words that were slang in 1916:

Awful
Belt (as in "a blow")
Bootleg
Bouncer
Cahoots
Cheek (as in "sauciness")
Coed
Cop & copper
Doctor (in the sense "to tamper with")
Fake
Fan
Fluke
Fresh (as in "forward")
Grouchy
Holdup
Hunch
Jamboree
Jinx
Kid
Leery
Measly
Party (meaning "a person")
Pub
Root (for)
Rough-house
 
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Eloy

Member
What is being done by not teaching Mozart?
Engaging the students to one of the great musical geniuses of the past.

Will Stormzy be remembered as a musical genius?
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
What is being done by not teaching Mozart?
Engaging the students to one of the great musical geniuses of the past.

Will Stormzy be remembered as a musical genius?
Engaging people in music they know is a gateway to introducing them to greats of the past. The point these kind of things make is that current generations feel a disconnect with Mozart and don't immediately understand how classical can relate to the music they know. While one might say Stormzy is expendable, I have no idea (i really dont now stomzy and I doubt this really is about him). maybe one day Stormzy might be considered such. how can we say now?
 

halfwalk

Active Member
Instead of teaching the foundations (apply to all subjects) - let’s teach culture.
Example: no need to teach standard English - let’s teach Ebonics.
Funny, we were made to recite the pledge of allegiance every morning in my school. From a very early age, this sense of blind nationalistic pride (i.e. large-scale tribalism) was subtly instilled in all of us, as thing that simply should not be questioned. So basically, they force fed us "culture" every morning.

Anyway, one possible issue with teaching only the works of the "established geniuses" of the past is that it can set the bar impossibly high for the learners, based on completely arbitrary dogma. "Learn this (but be aware that nobody will ever be as good as this because my worldview does not allow for the 'greats' to ever be surpassed)."

Teach kids to approach the world with an open mind. "Genius" is often just "tons of hard work every day" in disguise. So any musician or composer who has worked hard at their craft is fair game in my opinion.

It's entirely possible to get a high school diploma (and even an undergraduate degree) without ever questioning or challenging a single thing you are taught. Then these kids grow up and, in a college classroom, 95% of them just sit silently and don't even ask questions at all, let alone question the information itself. Then we all end up stuck in the past.

As for the original topic, I don't see why teaching Stormzy et al (who is really, in my view here, just a proxy for modern music versus classical) means they can't also teach Mozart. There's room for both, and for much more. But I can say personally that if my introduction to music had been purely Mozart/classical, I would have gotten bored right away and turned to painting or sports instead. I never got into classical music until I had already been a musician for ~15 years.


"You’ve got to play with ideas that are sort of on the edge of what we know, otherwise you’re stuck with what we know." - Sir Roger Penrose
 
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paularthur

Jedi in training...
Always a touchy subject...
It's interesting to read about how Jazz was talked about late 19th century to how it's talked about now. Not that i'm equating it musically to Rap but it was talked about the same way...
Stormzy would be a good study for spoken word.
I can't speak for the UK but in America we've had people talk about how they should introduce music through John Williams vs. the standard classical. Kids of every background know the opening of Star Wars, it's arguably more popular than the national anthem.
 
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