Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Country Music

A while back, after a heated (and humorous) exchange on Facebook with two of my wife's former students, I posted something like this (I've updated it a little).

Understanding my dislike for country music comes down to this: I teach singing and have a degree in music education. I try to teach my students to sing in tune, to not scoop to notes, and to make a warm and pleasant sound.

Meanwhile, the students are listening to country music which scoops all over the place and has a nasal sound (on average). This is NOT helping my cause. I spend the majority of my time combatting the things they hear on the radio and *shudder* American Idol (where I have yet to hear someone sing in tune). It should be noted that bad singing isn't limited to just country music, but it is commonly found in that genre.

An analogy: Imagine if your job was to teach gun safety and kids watched and emulated what they saw on TV? Hanging out of car windows, driving down the highway at high rates of speed, shooting in any direction. Obviously those type of media are undoubtedly popular, and the people involved make a lot of money, but neither would help you to properly teach gun safety.

A second analogy: Imagine if you taught journalism (like my wife does) in an area the local newspaper doesn't follow the approved conventions of journalism. Imagine further that there are 'news' channels in which all news is skewed to fit their own agenda (I believe this happens for both political parties). Obviously a lot of people watch/read, but it doesn't help teach kids how to be journalists.

In the end, you are free to love what you like. I am seriously thrilled that music moves you. . . Just don't expect me to agree on your taste. I could (possibly) try to joke less about this subject (but don't hold your breath).

1 comment:

Patricia T. said...

Didn't realize you taught music -- thought of you as a math teacher. Liked you post. I share your sentiments. Am not a fan of country or pop as I trained in classics in my youth and college years. I love opera. But, kids need to learn the basics of tone and pitch, if they really want to sing. Must be frustrating -- media has such a hold on people today. The "idol" thing for 13-yr-olds is so wrong. Learn the basics, then attempt the other. You have a challenges that we didn't have in school.