Wednesday, February 6, 2013


American's can't dance. Why? Because we don't understand music. Why? Because we place no cultural value on it. For a county that produces more music sales then any other, one would assume that our country actually knew something about it. I personally spent much of my life studying music, and even thought of pursuing a music career.
America's educational system is edging out arts of all types, though there is not much left to lose. When I compare the amount of time kids in Japan spend  on the arts, it shines a light of absurdity on the American school system.

Every teacher I work with can play the piano, I know this because every classroom has a piano, and the teachers frequently play along with the students. Every morning, before the first class of the day the students have their class meetings. After they finish the announcements, they all sing together. If there is a student who can play the piano well enough, they accompany the class, otherwise it is up to the teacher. Each student has a folder of music, though if the song is new, a blown up copy of the sheet music will be held up to the chalk board.

Students start learning to read music early. Student learn the keys on a  piano by the end of second grade by learning to playing a blow-organ. Students learn to read basic rhythms by the end of fourth grade using percussive instrument. They learn to read sheet music by the end of 5th grade by singing and playing the piano.

Music is frequently incorporated into all subjects, and the students have memorized the CD I play in class during work time, and I am encouraged to use what ever songs I can to teach a lesson.

Not only do students learn in class how to produce music, they learn how to dance. Gym periods are often dance classes, where students learn choreographed moves to all types of music (Pop, and hip hop to traditional songs).

It's a shame that music is falling to the wayside in The States. The feeling you get singing with a group of people, or dancing with a group of people is incredible. Few things make you feel more like your part of a community than music.

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