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The Importance of Music

The following articles reiterated the important presence that music has had among different cultures, and how it has changed over time. (http://www.gpwu.ac.jp/%7Ebiddle/youth.htm, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6666725.stm, http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0304/features/clouding.html). I think the automatic response for anyone is to think of your own culture first when discussing any topic. It’s the unconscious egotistical mind we all possess. While America did have a large impact on popular music throughout the world, other countries have gone through the same artistic revolution...

While reading these articles I was reminded of the importance of music not only in our everyday lives, but how it really has impacted culture, economics and mirrored the trials and tribulations of entire nations. Music can be a safe haven, a way to communicate joy, a way to protest, and a way to advertise or persuade - and it has been used for all. It reflects what is going on in the world, acting as a mirror between the lyrics and the people listening. People of all ages find music as a way to share their emotions and opinions. It changes as the world changes, and reflects the attitudes of the people. The first article names this idea “Zeitgesit- The spirit of the times.? (http://www.gpwu.ac.jp/%7Ebiddle/youth.htm) This definition is so true to popular music – it truly defines the spirit of what is happening at the time that it is popular. Now even in 2008, the Beatles are more popular than ever, so the argument can be made that while the music is written with the spirit of the events taking place at that same time, it does not mean that the same music will not have meaning decades later. This is another reason that music is so powerful – connections are made throughout generations; maybe due to memories or the links that will always connect us to our past.
The BBC article brings in the importance of popular music and you, saying “there is a thirst among the young for something new that reflects their lives? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6666725.stm) I think youth are always searching for something new, and for something that they can feel connect to. Youth are so involved in popular music because this is exactly what the power of music can do. Because of this involvement, music is also developed because of this “thirst.? This also reminds us of the great economic impact that the youth have and what a large industry that music has become as well. Then the cycle begins – not only music; but clothing styles, language usage and “what’s cool.? The youth population has great control (in every country) about what sells, what will last, and really sets the cultural norms.
Since music does have this immense importance in the lives of youth, why would we not incorporate music into education? Lately arts education has taken hits – mainly because of the focus on test scores in the core subjects and the every so present question “what is important.? It is just lately that us educators are forcing ourselves to be creative and take the importance of music and incorporate it into those “tested subjects.? I think it is also important that we continue to fight for arts education – and realize what a huge impact that pop music has across the world, in almost every aspect of our lives, and that it is one of the ways to effectively communicate with our youth. As the last article discusses, young adults need to have the ability to contribute to society and understand how to “argue? and debate – in a meaningful way. Music can teach us how to do this, to bring up those questions that many times get lost. One states, “I see my goal as a teacher, and the bottom-line goal of education, as that of demystifying the “club we belong to? and breaking up its exclusivity.? (http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0304/features/clouding.html) In a time where our country is divided and troubled, why not use music to bridge the gap, using it as not only a successful communication tool, but also a way to connect other cultures and countries in order to work towards a safer and successful place to live. And why not begin where our future sits every day, just waiting to soak everything up – our schools.