Music lessons

Monday, 21 January 2008

Today, in stead of the usual low fi 128kbs boomboombaps, I heard an Elvis imitator coming from my sons room. Wondering what was going on, I asked him why on earth he played this music. It turned out that it was homework for his music lessons.
Part of the educational material that his school uses, is a CD with 72 fragments of music from all genres: pop hits of all post WW2 era’s, classical music, world tunes, soundtracks, cabaret, etcetera. I have just listened to the CD and noticed many questions popping up in my mind. Why only fragments, often only half a minute long or even less? And why are some of the songs on the CD not the original version, but covers by Dutch musicians?
There is nothing wrong with the choice of the songs. they give a good idea of all the music that most kids of today don’t give a fig about. But to hear a quick fade out after only the intro, doesn’t give much idea of what these songs are. I don’t know about the other boys and girls that have to learn music from this CD, but son has definitely never heard 90% of the songs. But much worse is the fact that some of the pop hits are covers! How on earth can you teach 13 year old students what rock’n’roll is when you
Let them hear this in stead of the original version?!

I have no doubt that the people who made these cover versions did their best. It is not about them. It is about the idea that this is used in schools.
Of course I know why this is so: money! It is probably too expensive to get the rights to use the original versions. I really get pissed off when I think about this. We live in one of the most rich countries on this planet, 90% of this music is available on very cheap CD’s, and still schools have to use excerpts from cover versions!!!
If I was a music teacher I would never accept this situation. Kids have a right to hear the real King! Here he is, with one of my favourite songs from his royal repertoire, in an alternative take from the great Loving you recording sessions bootleg.



2008-01-25 18:25:18

Yes, I know: there are terrible things happening in music teaching methods today. Let me assure you that there are still music teachers who flush cd’s like you mention down the toilet! I download the originals from soulseek or limewire and burn them on CD-R to play them to my pupils!!!


2008-01-26 06:48:17

Nice to hear that! Highly appreciated. If you ever search for a song that you cannot find…