By Thomas Burritt

I read this interested post today from Colin Holter about Amy Chua’s controversial parenting regimen. Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and professor at Yale Universities Law School, provokes with her account of raising musically talented daughters.

As a teacher I have seen many over zealous parents who go to great lengths and expense to give their children the best musical experiences. While these parents all want to build in their children the qualities of a responsible adult there can be serious “wrong turns” along the way that can have serious negative affects on the child.

Colin Holter, author of the newmusicbox post, references many related issues to how and why we should learn any art. These issues raise interesting questions. Holter begins his post referencing the importance that many asian cultures place on work ethic coupled with a high esteem of the arts. This week I saw an 8th grade asian student play the you-know-what out of George Gershwin’s “Concerto if F”. How much of an advantage does growing up in a culture that stresses the arts give a young student? This reverence for the arts seems absent in America. Is this ultimately a disadvantage for young american artists?

Holter defines someone who only focusses on the mastery of technique as a “negamusician”. Would it be beneficial for a young student to, as Holter describes “sacrifice(d) an hour of practice every day for an hour of reading aesthetics, philosophy, art history, current events, plays, novels, and so on(?) Would this approach help to train a complete musician instead of “negamusician?”

Leave your comments to these questions in the comments.

Originally posted on DrumChattr on January 21, 2011 by Thomas Burritt.

Dave Gerhart

Dr. Dave Gerhart, Product Manager, Percussion for Yamaha Corporation of America and Lecturer of Percussion at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach, is a nationally recognized performer, composer, and educator. Dr. Gerhart, originally from Fairfield, California, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach.
Dave Gerhart

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