Musings on Music Education by a public school band director of 36 years.
The 2013 EJK Spring Band Concert is history. A very fulfilling concert indeed. The gym was packed with very happy people this evening. The kids were flying high, very proud of themselves, with good reason. Their parents were extremely proud as well, and rightfully so. Even I felt a greater amount of pride than usual after this annual event. The kiddies really kicked ass this time.
I just had a thought that this was my 50th annual spring concert in which I either played in or conducted a concert band. Guess that qualifies me as an expert on spring concerts. And in my expert opinion, spring concerts are awesome.
Unfortunately, if corporate "education reformers" have their way, public schools will no longer offer experiences such as this because band classes are often times more expensive to offer than English and Math classes. This would negatively impact the corporate bottom line so it won't fit into their model public school where all your kids sit at computer terminals and take bubble tests all day. It's also irritating to those corporate "education reformers" that they can't test a band class with a bubble test.
I just sincerely hope that all those young American parents out there who were able to enjoy this wonderful experience while they were in school are willing to be militant when it comes to protecting the public schools' ability to provide their own children with similar educational experiences...beyond the "core". I believe a good band class is capable of being far BEYOND the "core".
The adoption of "COMMON CORE" national standards that must be tested "on-line" by the big education corporations will be the death knell for public school arts education programs.
After evenings like tonight, I'll be deeply saddened to see them go.