Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What Education can Learn from Music?

I was listening to some music at a literature festival in 2013, when a thought struck me.

The evolution of music is an interesting idea to discuss and has several useful lessons for Education and how it is normally done.

Ken Robinson described how the rock and roll did not come about as a result of some planned government strategy. It just emerged. Listening to those musical performance every morning, I thought about what lessons music could offer to Education and reflected on my personal relationship to the music of the world. These were some of the thoughts that came across my mind.

What can Educational Institutes learn from Music?

1)         Music is Universal – In 2013, I got to attend a music concert by the Swedish House Mafia who were an electronic dance music trio from Sweden. The concert was being held in Mumbai. It was the most extra-ordinary experiences I was ever part of. I looked around and saw young people reciting the lyrics of the songs word to word. When the performers came on stage, the audience went wild and everyone welcomed them on stage with a roaring round of applause.  Though the three disk jockeys were from Sweden and they knew nobody from the audience, their music was what connected them to the audience. The performers on stage and the audience on the ground came from two very different backgrounds and cultures. But for those three hours that night, we shared a common reality. Music brought us together and though we spoke different languages, music became the universal language to connect our souls that night.

2)         Every Culture has its own interpretation of music – India has its own tradition of classical and folk music. Similarly has its own version of classical and folk music. You will again see a difference in the classical and folk music in America.  Thus the same kind of music can be represented in a variety of different ways. For education can learn from the evolution of music, by accommodating the multiple intelligences that every local culture has within itself. You many find a chef, artist and engineer in the same class and they all must be given an equal chance to achieve their potential.

3)         New Music for every era – Music represents the Zeitgeist Emotions of our time. Classicism and Romanticism gave the world the like of Bach, Mozart, Wagner and Beethoven. This was in line with the Renaissance thinking of the time and the influence of the art and philosophy and Ancient Greece and Rome. Similarly in the 1960’s to the 1980’s Jazz and Rock became new musical trends. It represented the liberation struggle of the time and the development of individual movements that fought for equality and end of racial discrimination. Thus music evolves with time. It is important for education to evolve with time as well.

Let us Learn Together
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