That new music curriculum

No, really, this isn’t how to do it:

Every pupil in the country should study Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven……Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca, Handel’s Hallelujah from Messiah and Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain……..Rock n Roll, pop and blues by listening to Hound Dog by Elvis Presley, With a Little Help from My Friends by The Beatles and Runaway Blues by Ma Rainey…….Genres such as Disco, Art Pop and 90s Indie should also be covered by listening to Chic’s Le Freak, Kate Bush’s Wild Man and Wonderwall’s Oasis.

It is, of course, Oasis’ “Wonderwall” but that’s just idiot journalists.

No, seriously, all of that is available, actually pumped at you, just by watching the TV ads.

They’re all used in TV ads because they are the iconic pieces of music of the past. Music is also one of the most basic of human activities. We have nose flutes from 50,000 years ago for example. We know of no human society that doesn’t at least use the voice to make it.

What we need is the education to connect those first stumblings of playing Pattycake and its rhymes with these glories of civilisation (OK, maybe not that with Oasis). The proof that this is what you can do – not what you can listen to, or appreciate, but do – the teaching that yes, really, these are just layerings up on top of adorable three year old moppets stumbling through Once in Royal David’s among the papier mache sheep…..

The lesson to teach is that music is something that is done, that you do, not merely something consumed.

Or, as any sensible country would do simply put my sister in charge of it.

30 thoughts on “That new music curriculum”

  1. Oh, her choir is just down the coast from me; I’ll watch out for a concert (if the authorities ever permit such things again).

  2. Addolff said:
    “Anyone using ‘oasis’ and ‘music’ in the same post is a c*nt”

    Or a c*mel?

  3. I agree with Tim, with the slight downer that 45 mins a week of doing, they ain’t going to be able to do much.

  4. I’d forgotten that Fiat advert.. Particularly loved the “homage” to “The Italian Job” (original version).. 🙂

  5. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    The Mike Flowers Pops cover of Wonderwall is better than the original and belongs on any music curriculum.* So much better it used to regularly get played pre-match at Maine Road, probably to the huge annoyance of the originators.

    *: No link for the obvious post-binning reasons.

  6. When I was a kid growing up, having music lessons and learning to play an instrument was seen as a middle class pursuit that wasn’t available to the likes of me. I would have liked to have learned piano, which I did as an adult. With hindsight, there were members of my extended family who played music and who might have been willing to teach me for nothing, but you don’t think of these things as a kid.

    As for exposing kids to music, I don’t think that imposing supposedly significant pieces on them is a good idea, they need to explore music and find the stuff that they like. This has never been easier now that we have YouTube and Spotify.

  7. . . . with the slight downer that 45 mins a week of doing, they ain’t going to be able to do much.

    That’s enough term time to prod the inherently talented; they’ll do it off their own bat after that if they’re sufficiently motivated and encouraged. Music may be “one of the most basic of human activities” but it’s still a rare specialisation to be good at it, with the rest of us chanting along if we can hold a tune. This isn’t a subject we should be devoting a lot of general education time to, not unless we want the focus of society to be something along the lines of jumping up and down with spears.

  8. PJF- i agree. We’re never going to be short of pro level musicians, whatever is taught in regular schools. Being good at music means self disciplined, institutional or parental disciplined practice for many hours a week, for years.

  9. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    “Wow. Unbelievable.”

    du, du du du du du du du duu duu duu
    du du du du du duu duu duuu
    du du du du du duh….

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to music and I’ve always envied those who do.

    Mrs BiND’s nieces are both quite good on the piano and used to get hours of enjoyment playing it. BiND minor is the same with drums, he doesn’t bother with groups now but still plays for the enjoyment.

  11. BiND, I’ve posted this before but, what’s the difference between a drummer and a drum machine?
    You only need to punch information into a drum machine once.

  12. I remember my early 70’s school music book. Classical mostly, some negro spirituals and added Beatles + Dylan.

  13. Kate Bush, I love you. You can get old and fat but you’ll still be beautiful, unbelievable.

    1. Kate Bush
    2. Nigella Lawson
    3. Toyah (in her 60’s)
    4. Kate Humble

    There must be something wrong with me.

  14. This applies to other subjects too. You can’t appreciate art until you’ve held a paintbrush yourself. You can’t appreciate a sport until you’ve played it – cricket remains a curious mystery to me.

  15. Bloke in China (Germany province)


    No, I am stuck at home in Germany Province. I haven’t been to the motherland, or rather that pimple on the motherland’s bottom called Hong Kong, for over a year. Sniff.

  16. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    The reference to the motherland, and being in China is purely sarcastic. But closer to truth with every passing day.

  17. “You can’t appreciate a sport until you’ve played it – cricket remains a curious mystery to me.”

    I like watching cricket but I have never played it. I have little hand eye coordination so have always been hopeless at any sport that involves a ball.

    I do appreciate good musicianship much more since attempting to play the piano, so I think that overall your point still stands.

  18. Oasis at L**ds Irish Centre around the time they released “Shakermaker” is still in my Top 5 gigs…”Wonderwall” is dog wank

  19. Classical music is also used in commercials because it doesn’t come with royalty fees. It’s public domain.

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