“[Language] seem[s] to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words.”
– Felix Mendelssohn
In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs here, here, here, and here on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on:
Celebrating Classical Music.
“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between,” wrote the great 18th-century composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In many ways, we live in a noisy and confused age; however, classical music – with its magical elegance, balance, and harmony – may very well be the most beautiful artistic expression that humans have ever created.
From 18th-century European courts to houses of worship to the grand opera houses of Vienna and Milan to homes and cars – classical music has sanctified, charmed, saddened, elated, moved, and elevated audiences around the world and back. For small children, research has shown that classical music can calm and sooth, while expanding their young minds and increasing brain functions. Meanwhile, in some parts of the country, convenience store owners use classical music to disperse vagrants and gangs from loitering and vandalizing. In 1977, NASA’s Voyager space mission created the ‘Golden Record’ to sum up the musical achievements of humanity to be sent into space with the hopes of connecting with intelligent life in the cosmos. Among the recordings included were the timeless classical music compositions of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Stravinsky.
Over the last several decades, as the late Beethoven biographer Edmund Morris noted on C-SPAN in 2014, classical music has increasingly fallen into a deep valley of neglect, even in the concert halls. This is because classical music is being brushed aside in favor of pop music with its ceaseless, often mindlessly formulaic one-hit-wonders. Timeless classical music has been abbreviated, clipped, and trivialized by technology, while remaining largely untaught across K-12 schooling and higher education. We should ever remember that teaching young people to love and cherish society’s highest-quality cultural achievements and ideals is the one of the fundamental goals of any healthy, enduring civilization. Quite simply, classical music can show us the way forward in dramatically upgrading the aspirations of our culture.
No blog could ever hope to encompass the vast and breathtakingly beautiful world of classical music, with all its awe-inspiring depth and complexity. However, our hope is that this survey below will offer resources to help parents, teachers, and high schoolers better appreciate classical music’s grandeur and vital importance.
To view these resources on Amazon.com, click the image of the resource.