5 Great Reasons for Your Child to Learn Music – Part 2: Cultural

Music plays a very important part in all cultures; everyone can agree on that.  I have a friend that is originally from Guam, and when I started telling her about Amarant Music, and specifically that it is a world music system, she became very excited about our project. (She even went so far as to volunteer to sing a song from her childhood in Guam on one of our lessons.) One of the biggest benefits for her was the cultural identity that her children would get from that. Her husband is French and German, and of course she is from Guam, so she wanted her children to be able to connect with music from all of those places. Their cultural heritage was as important to her as was their present cultural identity in middle class America. Because she wanted all of the cultural ties that they inherited to be available for her children, she wanted to be part of our system of learning. Of course, she also wanted her children to learn music and liked the other aspects of our system, but the thing that spoke most to her  was how it would connect to her culture, and how she wanted her children to see it.

We all have very defined music cultures, even beyond the “American” or “French” music of our heritages. It helps us to be part of something. If you like rap, rap culture is a part of you, and if you like country and western music, it is a part of you. It connects you with others who share that music, and who share that culture and its values. You often seek friends and even partners with this criteria in mind.  (Not that we don’t have friends with different musical tastes, but we often make friends specifically around shared musical connections)  We make essential connections, both with the tribe and groups with identify with, choose to be part of, and to that tribe’s culture.  We so identify with this musical culture that it is often very important to us to try to indoctrinate our children into the same musical culture.  For people who listen to pop music, it is often important to them to try and share pop music with their children, so they play it for them when their children are little, and it can be one of the most dear connections when they share those musical tastes and cultures when they grow up.

So why learn music? Why not just listen to and sing along with music from your chosen music culture? Well, first, when we are literate in a subject we enjoy it more. There is a deeper satisfaction in even passively enjoying that subject. Being literate in language and reading makes us seek books of better quality, understand them more deeply, and enjoy them a lot more. Run, Spot, Run doesn’t do it for us anymore. Having a music culture and being literate in music does a similar thing. It helps give us a richer understanding of the songs we like, deepens our experience of them, and helps us to seek out songs with richer meaning to us. Also, we can take part in our music culture. We don’t have to sit passively on the side listening to music we like, we can add to it, and thus become an active participant in our culture. We can give our take on that type of music. We can add our voice. My friend from Guam knew a songwriter who writes songs based on his Guam roots; it is a part of his voice. He wanted people to hear his identity and culture from all of the different musical tribes to which he belonged.

 

If you would like to see this world music system and enrich the lives of your children, giving them the richest level of interaction with their world music culture, go to our Kick Starter page and get this system for 40% off of the regular price. It will be the lowest price ever, and it is available only during our kick starter project.

 

 

Author: Laura Matthews, CCO Amarant Education

Degree: BME, minor English Taught Band, Elementary music and Privately

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