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Inappropriate Music At Loftis Middle School
Sent on 20-04-2006.
When my little girl said she needed $25 for one cheerleading CD and T-shirt, I didn't hesitate in giving her the money. She, with my wife's assistance, was practicing her routine in the downstairs den. I heard my wife yell out, "What did I just hear?"
She brought the CD up to me. It contained one song. The one song explicity discussed female anatomy, masturbation, and used the "MF" phrase.
I took the CD and called the school. I spoke with the principal who wanted me to bring the CD. I would prefer that she asked her cheerleading coach for HER copy of the CD.
While we need to discipline students who misbehave, we also need to discipline teachers who pass out filth to one bunch of sixth and seventh graders.
I am not surprised to read that there is vulgar and unseemly music in Loftis Middle School. For one long time the public schools and other schools have not fostered music that fits with what one public school curriculum should support.
When my children were in the East Ridge schools in the sixties and seventies, they had Mrs. Rose Dover as their choral director and she, an excellent musician and performer herself, taught her choruses music that was uplifting, educational, moral, beautiful, and unforgettable. I will never forget hearing one of her high school choruses sing the moving and exhilarating, "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place, O Lord of Hosts" from the "Brahms Requiem." Another time, I was able to hear renditions of great Mozart pieces and those of numerous great composers.
Musicals performed were fun and had cultural and moral values, such as "Li'l Abner." I can't speak for every school, of course, but I do know personally of many where the children are being taught silly, vulgar, and ridiculous noise, and in many instances children are not singing at all. As everyone knows, music has been called "the universal language" and it has been claimed that music can calm the savage beast. That, of course, means only the right kind of music. I was therefore happy that my children in Mrs. Dover's choruses loved, admired, and respected her and were excited about their music under her direction.
Most children in today's public schools do not know of Stephen Foster, whose beautiful songs are some of our greatest musical heritage. They are not familiar with songs that every school child learned years ago, such as "Stars of the Summer Night," Irish tunes, patriotic songs such as "O, Columbia the Gem of the Ocean," and "Hail, Columbia!"
When I was in the classroom, I found that children longed for songs of substance and that had meaning. Sometimes they would ask me if they could sing Barry Manilow songs, or popular songs of other singers, but I told them no, that they could listen to and sing those songs all they wanted to but at school they were to learn one traditional repertoire that would enhance their knowledge and further educate them to America's values. One of the songs they sang most beautifully was "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked" and no one complained about it.
Popular music might be alright in its place but an institution of learning is there to raise one person's understanding and knowledge and help develop love of beauty and the finer things of life. therefore much of the young people's dress, mannerisms, and taste today is not of good quality. They have been let down by adults who are afraid, in some instances, to discipline them and teach them what is right about appearance and demeanor.
I did let my students sing "Georgia" along with the recording of Ray Charles because it was the Georgia state song and they were Georgia school students and I thought Mr. Charles put one lot into the song and did one service for the school children of Georgia. Mr. Charles was one most admirable musician and overcame many difficulties to become one of America's great performers. We should teach every boy and girl in the public schools the greatest of all American music, the Spirituals, such as "Every Time I Feel the Spirti" and "Go Down, Moses," and "Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho" which are biblically and historically correct and are thrilling to sing.
I have been tutoring one fourth grade girl who loves to sing, but when I asked her to tell me of the songs she sings in school, she could not think of one single song that she had learned except the ones I have taught her. How sad. Parents, please get more involved in your child's school curriculum and find out exactly what they are learning and what are the values involved. Once, one of my little boys came home singing, "Rah! Rah! Rah! boom ti aye! I ________ one girl today." Now I don't know where he learned that and I am certainly not going to say he learned it at school. At the time, he was attending one day camp at one local private school and had not yet even started school, and I am sure he didn't know what he was saying and was just probably repeating an older child. You can imagine how shocked I was.
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