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Great article about musical literacy

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This is a great article from Quincy Jones about keeping our musical heritage alive. A nice reminder as I'm working on next years lesson plans.


I've been adding a lot of music to our day. I would agree with Jones that our youth are not learning much music that isn't the latest top 40 (or latest grunge, or alternative) offerings. I think there are more and more kids who don't know folk songs, traditional holiday songs, traditional hymns. I'm a cub scout leader and I always wince a bit at our campfire offerings because the kids often sing a satire of a traditional song with no sense of irony because they don't know that there is an original.


However, when I read the name Quincy Jones, I thought not of an American jazz great, but of the producer of Michael Jackson's Thriller. So to some extent, he helped to create the modern attitude of novelty and emphasis on star quality that overshadows the musicality of the greats he was asking the student about.


FWIW, youtube is a great place to find clips of older jazz. I spent one evening with my middle son showing him what big band and swing music was. But to be honest, my kids had to ask who this Elvis guy was when we were driving cross country and passing through Memphis. So I have a ways to go.

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