Miamiflute's Blog

Always on

Posted on: February 17, 2010

My husband and my children, Matilda and Lane, are endless sources of inspiration to me – and in the most unusual ways. While this blog is not about them, per se, their actions inspire me to investigate, think, and sometimes change the way I look at or do something.

So, this morning when Matilda got out of bed she was in, what us Mom’s like to call, a ‘snit’. No potty, no breakfast, no changing clothes – you get it. My idea to sit down and watch the Wiggles while I got her brother dressed was immediately, and adamantly dismissed. I offered up Mickey Mouse – which was also shot down. For those of you who are still sleeping at 6:30 a.m. – these are pretty much your only choices for toddler TV.  Out of desperation I finally just asked her, “What DO you want to watch???!!!?”.

Calmly, she replied, “Sprout”. And then proceeded to walk over to my husband’s desk, open his laptop, and grab the mouse.

Did I mention she’s two?

We had shown her videos from the Sprout Channel on the laptop before, so she knows they are out there. Always on, always out there. So, then it dawned on me – the absolute power of instant media access. Does this power diminish the value music? Movies?  A live performance experience? If it is broadcast live to world, or available forever on You Tube is it worth less than it used to be? Matilda has had no choice other than to live in a world of immediacy, so she will never know what it was like to wait for a TV show to be available. Just as you and I will never know what it is like to live in a world without cars – they have always been there, and are part of our language. We can think about what it was like when there were no cars, but we will really never know.

As music educators, how do we communicate the value of music if it is always available? Or the value of attending a concert live, in person? I often have visions of people pushing wheelbarrows full of Confederacy Dollars or German Deutschmarks to buy a loaf of bread after they became worthless to the government. Will our students feel the same way about their musical education? Will they be pushing wheelbarrows full of CDs to trade for computer gadgets? Will live performances continue to become fewer while live-streamed or archived events become the norm?

I encourage your thoughts on how – or if – we can continue to keep these experiences valuable in music education.

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1 Response to "Always on"

Love your blog…can’t wait to read more about you and your family.

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