Yesterday, in my Eartraining / Sightsinging class, we had a few guests. Several high school students from the Noonan Business Academy in Boston visited to observe college courses. Most of the students were minorities (black and brown) and girls outnumbered boys. Overall, the teens were exceedingly intrigued by our class.
In an Eartraining / Sightsinging course, an individual is exposed to various pitches and required to identify the interval and know it's relation to other pitches, as well as read music quickly, grasp complex rhythm patterns, sing on key without the assistance of an instrument and recognize major and minor scales.
We have an extremely outgoing professor who made them feel really comfortable. He even got a few chuckles out of them when they tried to copy our musical exercises (they were kinda off key).
Toward the end of the class, he inquired about feedback and one of the young students made a statement that caught my attention.
"I've never been in a music class before."
My heart sunk ten levels.
As a musician, I believe there is no greater joy than music. The reality of this scientifically mathematical world descended upon me like a blue whale from the heavens. I haven't been in an elementary or high school in years but I have first person knowledge from acquaintances who completed high school lately. The recent emphasis is on state comprehensive exams (MCAS) that require students to display superior math and science skills before graduation. I understand that in the contemporary international market, we Americans need to step up our game. We are competing on a global level in technologically advanced fields. Still, art and music are as significantly important for human development. I'm not requiring that these students read music but they should at least be exposed to the basic theories.
Ergo (my favorite word lately), I've decided the direction of my academic career (yes, it's a career, especially after 13 semesters!) I want to look into music education. I know I need a graduate degree for that but hell, after this long, what's a few more years? I will talk to my professors and get some information. I want to know what inspired their respective career choices. What is their background in the industry? How did they get their start?
The phrase uttered by that student has haunted me all night and still weighs heavily on my mind. I assert that one’s purpose in life is to help somebody, love somebody, and to teach somebody ... I can't leave this earth until one of those purposes is fulfilled.
There is so much artistic talent waiting to be unlocked.
I believe I am the key.