Go into any high school and look at the Art and Music classes. In all of the art classes, they ask you to make original art. They ask you to paint, draw, sculpt and teach you how to use those mediums, but they do not ask you to copy existing art. They ask you to interpret the world and create your own vision. They give you technique, not paint-by-numbers.
In all music classes, it is the exact opposite. They give you an instrument and then they give you existing music. They proceed to teach you to play the song provided. Usually the song is awful and the students learn to play it by rote. They don’t learn to play the instrument, they learn to play the song. It is music-by-numbers.
Where is the artistry in the music classes? Why do you only create original art in painting, sculpting and drawing? Why can’t music be more like art?
Imagine a class where they say, “You are going to write original music and then we are going to play your songs together.” The class would teach structure, lyrics and how to write a song. It doesn’t have to be a great song. It just has to be a song. It could be contemporary, it could have rap, it could have all kinds of twists. It could even be acapella! (No instruments, just voices)
This would teach so much more than learning to blow into a trumpet and then never pick it up after the class. It would teach kids that they CAN create things. You don’t need to be a musician to write lyrics. You don’t need to be a genius to write a 4 chord song. A qualified teacher is required, but kids would be able to do this.
There are so many things in our world that are sub-optimal, but could be different. I am talking to my kids high school to see if this could be changed.