Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Artz and Kultcha - Music (1)

The discussion and debate that can best be summarised as Arts v Sports is one that pops up every now and then. Locally, this debate has come about as a result of the interest of the possible future development of a public swimming pool in Kinglake. Concurrently a joint initiative between Parks Victoria, Kinglake Ranges Foundation and our local shire has seen plans made for the construction of the Kinglake Ranges Community and Cultural Facility (isn't that a sexy title).

Now before I start, I need to declare that I am a board member of the Kinglake Ranges Foundation and I have a personal interest in seeing the development of the KRCCF (the equally sexy acronym for the Kinglake Ranges Community and Cultural Facility) come to fruition.

This blog is, however, not about arguing for one building over another (a local pool would be good). Rather it's to explore the more general concept of why the development of "The Arts" would be beneficial for the Kinglake Ranges.

First of all, what do I mean by "The Arts"? As with most definitions I turn to the useful website that is Wikipedia. They define arts as:
  "... a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts."
So, we are talking about:
  • Visual Arts: includes drawing, painting, sculpting, ceramics and photography
  • Literary Arts: includes basically writing about stuff 
  • Performing Arts: includes music, theatre, dance and film 
For the purposes of this blog, I am going to focus in on Performing Arts and specifically music, although most of my views are equally appropriate in all areas of The Arts.

Locally, most people will probably know me, not for any artistic endeavours, but either as a result of my work as an accountant or in some of the community groups that I have been involved in over the years. Most of my networks and friends developed off  "the ranges" are, however, as a result of musical activities.

Music has been a part of my life from an early age. Initially with keyboard and piano lessons I was singing in a choir until high school. In Year 8 I was forced by my parents to join the High School's brass band, and it is one of the few enforced "choices" I had to make that I have not regretted. For well over 25 years I have enjoyed playing brass instruments, including trombone, tuba, euphonium, baritone, and more recently the humble tenor horn.

More recently, since the fires I have taken up the challenge of music composition, for brass instruments, with renewed appreciation of why I enjoy the art of music.

Music is universal. All cultures around our planet utilise and enjoy music in some way, shape or form.

Music can be an inexpensive past time. Yes, instruments can potentially cost a lot of money, but to sing, hum, whistle or drum a beat is free.

Music can be a social art. Either playing music with people or for other people can be a great way to meet and interact with other people.

But most of all, music is expressive. Music can convey thoughts and emotions better than any other medium (when done well).

I'll be posting more blogs about the benefits of music, and The Arts, to our area over coming weeks, but for now, I'd like to leave you with something that has been doing to rounds of Facebook in the last couple of weeks. The development of musical skills and music appreciation is best started early on in life. The following provides a really good answer to the question : Why teach music?

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