ART OF MUSIC…The real thing

 Tammy Kister

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By Karen Kite | October 1, 2010

Dictionaries and encyclopedias define music as “an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental and voice tones in a structured and continuous manner.” There are many theories regarding when and where music originated.Many agree that music began even before man existed.Personally, I wouldn’t want to try and pinpoint an exact date in time.However, as being of the Christian faith I do know the Holy Bible mentions music. {{more}}We also know for a fact that music has influenced our lives as human beings tremendously. There have been a great deal of accomplished composers throughout the ages some of which we know well from the classical genre such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Chopin, as well as many other accomplished composers in numerous other styles throughout time and today….WOW, a person can’t name them all in one sentence without including lots of commas. These days it can be very difficult when listening to a tune to determine which music category it actually falls into. Technology has progressed rapidly in all areas, including music.Today, one can learn music by color, number, and even by ear on the internet. One can even arrange and record their own music without entering a recording studio if they have the right software and can read and understand the directions. Yet as a piano teacher and songwriter, I see an age of music technology on the scene that truly concerns me. Churches are removing their traditional hymnals and contemporary songbooks and putting up overhead screens with the lyrics posted on them without the notation of music even being present.Church Praise Teams are playing strictly by ear, or using chord symbols, there are some still using melody lead sheets but very few can read music these days.Melody is still being sung, just not read or played very much. It’s become very rare for one to take the time or the money to learn music correctly.The microwave is not fast enough for our generation of kids today, our children don’t like challenges, they want to give up quickly if its not simple.If parents don’t wake up and take the intuitive and insist their children learn music the correct way, the art of music will be a thing of the past in the years to come. I have students who bring me lyrics with chord symbols written above them from their churches just about every day.They say, “Will you teach me today to play this song on the piano that we sing in my church?”I have to tell them……”There is not a melody line written there. Can u hear the tune in your head from what you heard in church?If so, can you pick it out on the keys, find the right notes?” and they say…”I tried but I can’t” So, seeing we don’t have the original music score present during the lesson and they really want to play the song,I teach them the chords and then they can’t remember the tune properly so they don’t know where to put the chords in with their voice and it takes time to transcribe the tune from a CD or from their I-Pod and put it on paper for them to read.It takes time away from what I’m here to teach them, real music… as well as basic and advanced chords. Churches…Please, think of the education of our children in the midst of your worship services. These children want to praise God in music at home too…. on their own instruments. You may say, well….the publishers and record companies are not giving it to us that way anymore.If you take a stand and quit buying it, they’ll give it to you the right way. You may say…”Our musicians can’t read music”Then add it to your church budget and get them lessons where they can.Playing by ear is a great gift to be born with, but not everybody has it or can learn it, even with a proper ear training course but anybody who has eyes to see and hands to play can learn to read music.Our kids in this generation need to be taught to take on challenges not run or ignore them. Life’s garden may be filled with roses but don’t forget there are thorns in the midst of them and there always will be. God gives man the knowledge of witty inventions and music notation was one of them. Let’s not allow our children to grow up to be musically unlearned, may their minds be sharp in all areas with the Holy Spirit naturally as their #1 teacher and guide. Please……Let’s not continue to throw away the “Art of Music”Let’s leave our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren the real thing.