The other day, we turned on Morning Joe and heard Paul Anka sing "Diana," which he said he wrote when he was 14. What a treat! Anka wrote "My Way" for Frank Sinatra and our late Senator Arlen Specter adopted that song as his own theme song. Later on, we heard the Frank Sinatra version of "Come Fly With Me" as part of a commercial for something, don't remember what. But that's not the point.
Music has been a part of life forever. In the olden, olden days; only a few people knew how to read and history, ethics, philosophy, logical thinking, family values, etc. had to be taught to the populace for the purpose of passing on and remembering traditions. Remember, most people could not read, so the important stories were turned into song. The Torah is read, actually chanted, today to the same musical arrangement of notes as in Biblical times. The wise people created specific trops for specific passages so that everyone could remember them and chant them.
In Hawaii, or Polynesia, there was no written language but the stories of their heritage persisted through the same kind of chanting of family and community traditions.
Today, Chip Kelley, Eagles' coach, plays rhythmic music for football plays. Again, as I understand it, specific musical phrases are connected to specific formations for defensive and offensive maneuvers. And, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Andy Reid is now incorporating music into his plays with his new team the Kansas City Chiefs.
Now, let us turn to the Lower Merion School Board who thinks it is in the best interest of the students, especially in elementary schools, to receive less time with music and the arts. The school board could not be more wrong. We attended the May 16th Lower Merion High School spring music and arts festival. These young and talented musicians showed enthusiasm and understanding with their performances. They need to be complimented and encouraged on their tenacity and hours and hours of practice. But, I have to admit that I was disappointed in one aspect of the program. And that is the program itself which listed the members of district, regional, state and eastern performance groups. When my children attended Lower Merion High School, the names of those selected for these groups filled up an entire page. In this year's program, although I did not count them, I am sure that there were less than 10 students who achieved this honor.
Come on Lower Merion School Board and "get with the program." Music is important!!! Music has always been important!!! Don't deprive our children of their right to know, love, understand, and appreciate the arts!!!