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CBS News Anchor Dan Rather as Music Education Advocate

Dan Rather, well known CBS Evening News Anchor, wrote a powerful syndicated column which appeared yesterday (3/20) in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Titled "Silencing the Sound of Music," Rather writes eloquently about the importance of music education for all children and the impact this had on his own life.

Describing his role as an accomplished woodblock player ("scholars believe the woodblock was invented BEFORE music. And you had only listened to the way I played") he hit on one of the most important aspect of why teachers each and children should learn music:

"In all honesty those little music classes didn't turn me into a musician - you'd need a MAGICIAN to do that. But those classes did give me an appreciation of music:"

"Music is difficult. It requires work and thought and sweat and inspiration. I haven't taken it for granted since."

"Music is exciting. It is thrilling to be sitting in a group of musicians playing (more or less) the same piece of music. You are part of a great, powerful, vibrant entity. And nothing beats the feeling you get when you've practiced a difficult section over and over and finally get it right. (yes, even on the wood block.) And you think YOU'RE excited when you get that song right: Imagine how your MOTHER feels. You can see it in her face: relief and pride. Big pride."

"Music is important. It says things you heart can't say any other way, and in a language everyone speaks. Music crosses borders, turns smiles into frowns, and vice versa."

"These observations are shared with a hope: that, when schools cut back on music classes, the really think about what they're doing - and don't take music for granted."

Clearly, a great column for advocacy and one more piece of evidence supporting my theory "Drummers will rule the Earth"....but, that's for another AMC Music-News!

Source: Sand Diego Union-Tribune, 3/20/98

This article was taken from the Music Education Online Site.