there but for the grace of music lessons go

Only Daughter had her first “orchestra concert” tonight. She actually asked me not to go. She took some violin lessons as younger youngster, and feels that the exertions of the 6th grade ensemble are, in a way, beneath her.

I went anyway.

(As a pointed aside, they’re not. Beneath her, that is. She had 5 teachers in 4 years because they kept moving away or graduating from college or taking so many out-of-town gigs she would have one lesson a month so she learned 1/4 what she should have, and absolutely nothing about how to read music much less how to understand what she was hearing.)

The orchestra did a fine job, all things considered. It was noted that there were approximately 75 musicians “on stage” and approximately 65 versions of any given note at any given time, but what’s a person to do?

One of the directors stood up at the end to thank all of the parents for going that extra mile (really? it’s “extra” now? shouldn’t it just be part of what everyone should be expected to do if they want to be a living, breathing, feeling member of the universe?) to support their children’s efforts to learn to play a musical instrument.

Okay, fine. Thanks are good. I’m fine. Really, I am.

Then he talks about the benefits — to the brain, to the person, to society, to the importance of students learning to communicate that which cannot be said in words; I start to think, okay, so he’s not a total doofus. But no, I “forgave” him too soon.

Wait for it. . .

“Maybe if more children learn to be thinking, feeling members of society, fewer of them would be flying airplanes into buildings.”

Oh. I had no idea. If only the terrorists had had music lessons.





3 Responses to “there but for the grace of music lessons go”

  1. November 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hey! that’s a bit harsh!!
    My guess is that he’s trying to say that making responsible & useful members of society involves more than teaching them mathematics and geography…that we need well rounded individuals who can think and feel, not just automatons that can score well in exams. …maybe?

    • November 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Yeah, but there are so many better ways to say it. Does he really think that if the guys on the planes flying into the WTC would have had violin lessons they might have chosen another path?

      If he’s going to say something like that in front of a room full of impressionable young students, and their possibly-equally-(haven’treallythoughtthingsthroughallthatwellthat’swhytheyprobablyvotedfor-whatdoyoumeanIhidthatmoneyIstolefromtheautoindustrybailoutMittRomney) impressionable parents, shouldn’t he have at least parsed the logic a little wee bit?

  2. November 14, 2012 at 3:17 am

    OH my word! I don’t even know what to say to that last bit. But I’m glad Only Daughter enjoys her music lessons 🙂

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