Music and art
FTLComm - Tisdale - Friday, January 9, 2009

So much of what we think is happening, is really an elaborate illusion, there is no conspiracy involved, no plot to hoodwink the average person. Instead we are pretty much in charge of the fabrication that we construct around ourselves and then we tell ourselves that this is the way things are, this is the real world. Now there is nothing wrong with this construct, it is part of the basic survival strategy we each employ to help ourselves get through the complexities of our day to day experience. But one by one, we are all guilty of masking the actual with the perceptual.

There is no need for me to condemn this coping mechanism its the way people are and the way they have always been. But it need not be the way we need to proceed into the future. One of the major shortcomings in our society is within our education system. I don't intend to condemn the education system because Canadian public education is a direct reflection of the society in which it is embedded and the core of the problem is in society and its value system. For all of Canada's history in much of the country we have placed a value on things, everything seems to be equated to how much it costs or what we as a collective society think it is worth. Immediately, you can perceive the possibility of going off in the wrong direction.

We have as a society come to believe that what is important for our children to learn are to so-called three "Rs", we want our kids to have the skills to learn, the skills to earn a living and the skills to cope with the challenges of life. By putting so much pressure on our schools to teach reading and the sort of skills that the business world values we have left a massive whole in the curriculum and only families and individuals who are particularly enlightened have found themselves doing the task while the society as a whole is left to flounder short changed on their basic needs.

It will surprise you to discover the basic needs that we are missing out on because most people thing of these things as frills and not essentials. But because of the nature of human beings the esthetics are the most important things that we as people need to know. Music and art are not frills, they provide every person with the basic understanding of the world around them. Music in particular is extremely important in a scientific world like this one in which we must deal with each day. Studies have shown that higher mathematics is vital in a scientific world and to make mathematicians you need informal and formal musical experience at a very early age.

Are the trees in the picture at the top of the page interesting or just details, is the pattern of the twigs in the picture at the bottom of the page significant to telling a story in that picture. Is the lady with the walker part of the scene or an oddity. These are the sort of questions that pop up at every turn of your head and they directly related the kind of art experience and development that went on in your life when you were very young.

If you want to make this better world, our schools and our society must come to value music, art and the perspective contributed by the study of history to our school system. This is the first in this article that I mentioned history, but I think it best to just name it for now and some other day we need to examine more closely what kids are missing by doing social studies and ignoring history

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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