Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grumpy Old Man Alert

htt: Kate

Ladies and gentlemen, is this what choir teachers are teaching their kids these days??? What the hell? Whatever happened to the good old spirituals, or Mozart, or Bach???

Do you see any MATH teachers stacking numbers into shapes resembling Obama or McCain and then rapping and gyrating around about it?

Forget the election, forget the motive of teacher to obviously make themselves a YouTube sensation. I'm talking about good old fashioned learning here. If there was ever a time in which I felt school reform was in order, it is now. I can't tell you how I'd like to rage into that classroom, fire the teacher and demand nothing but complete excellence, and get it, even if it killed me.

While the Chinese children across the ocean are learning the Mozart Requiem and building fractal mosaics for fun after they do their combinatorial math homework, our kids are mastering the art of letting the dogs out. Time to wake up America and smell the superior intellectual training that is intent upon enslaving us in the years to come.

Yes it is entertaining to see a bunch of kids bust a move, but how bout a little learning.


Susanne said...

I had to pause this idiotic video after the first minute. I guess this teacher thinks that kids only need to learn rhythm...forget about actual MUSIC. Geesh. This is what happens when people care more about American idol than they care about current events. Most kids never hear classical music in their homes. Most of them have parents who live to watch reality TV. That's all they know. If teachers stop teaching kids real music, then who will??

This Southern Belle said...

I say kudos to the teacher for finding a creative way to get these kids interested in the election AND representing both parties.

Seth Ward said...

I hear you, SB, and when I wrote this, I knew I would be the dissenting voice... That is why it was titled "grumpy old man."

Consider the source though: Grumpy old music man/teacher. I'm glad their interested in the election, my beef was more with music education in public schools, particularly minority schools.

Let's say you are a poetry teacher... instead of the teacher spending time teaching the kids Frost or Emily, they spend time learning a rap about the election. Maybe it gets the kids involved, but the price in this case seems awfully high.

Really this video pricked at a bigger issue that has been bugging me for some time now. Some of this could come from my experience in public schools, particularly with minority schools. The philosophy being, because they are black, they must rap. Well, I think that's crap. The bar for minority public schools compared to white private schools is so incredibly low, and it enrages me. "Do what ever keeps their attention."

However, I shouldn't judge on this one performance alone. Maybe he/she is teaching them good stuff: diction, musicality, discipline, the great composers, the best art civilization has to offer... along with jumping around and singing/screaming.

I just believe that a great education should not be limited to rich white schools, private or public.

From my experience (working with my wife for 3 years in minority public schools) they want to learn the "good" stuff as well. Hopefully, these kids are getting steak and veggies before their push-up pops.

But, point taken. I should lighten up about it.