Where the Music Came From: Mourning the Loss of Great Music Programs in Our Public Schools
Just had a thought. So much of the amazing music we had in the 50's and 60's- whether it was the beautiful harmonies of doo wop singers, the girl groups and the Beach Boys; the incredible horn and guitar playing of soul and funk musicians like Sly and the Family stone and the Famous Flames, or the supremely talented back up musicians at Motown and Stax Records, was a product of great music programs in the nation's public schools after World War II. There were bands, orchestras and choruses, all taught by trained music teachers, and talent shows and musicals, and in NYC, great original student written shows called "Sing." Great musicians and great singers were being turned out all over the country by the thousands and tens of thousands.
Today, especially in our cities, especially in our poor communities, many of those music programs have been shut down. And an appreciation for harmonic singing and instrumental musical performance seems to have dissipated.
Yes, there are electronic substitutes and all those sounds can be replicated synthetically. But there is nothing like live music to lift the spirits, whether you play it or listen to it, and those skills, unfortunately, are no longer being nurtured and cultivated in our schools to the degree they were fifty and sixty years ago.With A Brooklyn Accent: Where the Music Came From: Mourning the Loss of Great Music Programs in Our Public Schools: