Thursday, October 04, 2007

Generous Harmony

The CMA has donated a substantial number of instruments to the MNPS. I'm glad to see this year that the list shows instruments provided across the system. Last year's donation was heavy on items for the Nashville School of the Arts and actually included a Chevy Silverado to haul some of it around. This time it's more spread around the system.

I'm glad to read Isaac Litton Middle School will be the recipient of some of this generosity. Last month the Inglewood Neighborhood Association heard from their new band teacher that, like what was reported in the Tennessean this morning, it had been decades since instruments and cases had been regularly purchased for the school. He brought some shameful examples. We'd fallen a long way from the Litton Marching 100 and it's national reputation.

Already in the works is the inaugural Inglewood 8K/3K which will raise funds for more instruments for the school. The event is this weekend and begins and ends at Isaac Litton Middle School at 8:00. A renewed Marching 100 is on the horizon.


William said...

This is great news but isn't something conspicuously missing from the donated instrument list? In the multitude of instruments, not one guitar. The instrument whose immage typifies Nashville is missing in action.

Amazingly,no where on staff does Metro have a competent full-time instructor of guitar that has consistently produced students capable of entering a college guitar program. The blame for this lies squarely wih metro music/art supervisor person, Carol Crittenden who has placed charlatans in positions to teach guitar in Metro. Why doesn't she consult guitar professors for recommndations? There are numerous qualified people in the area that are certified to teach that are not placed in position to do so.

Arguable one of the most popular instruments in society today and symbol of Nashville, the guitar, is not taken seriously in public school music education. (I speak with authority on this subject as I've been a college guitar educator in this area for 19 years and all my colleagues agree with me on this subject, just ask any Mid-TN guitar professor.)

Kay Brooks said...

Good points. Thanks, William.

So are we giving children music lessons so we can fill out a regular orchestra or band or so they can enjoy playing an instrument life long? Is the goal, a corporate music group or music appreciation that lasts a lifetime?

I know lots of folks who took horn lessons but after school it's pretty much a door stop. But something like guitar, being portable and pleasant to listen to solo, may be less likely to be a dust collector.

Many of those same people also wanted to play something else but the orchestra director gave them the oboe because that chair hadn't been filled yet.

Also, it occurs to me as the wife of a player who made sure his bass and/or guitar was out of the weather before his pregnant wife was, that guitars may be considered too delicate for children to be trusted with.

William said...

Certainly less delicate than a violin or a flute. Drop a flute, it's in for repair.

Guitarist hobbyists are everywhere. Every highschool has got at least one or two kids that can shred on rock guitar at a very high level of proficiency, but only about one in ten schools have any guitar students with the training necessary to qualify for a music scholarship (music reading ability, classical training and/or jazz guitar skills).

If a bassoonist can play a scale, (s)he gets a scholarship. The level of audition requirements are a bit higher for the more popular instruments.