Music as Language

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Category : Music

Music: the language we can all understand

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If you’re actually able to listen to his voiceover during Victor Wooten’s amazing rendition of “Amazing Grace,” you’ll hear he has some very strong beliefs about music and music education. And it’s worth listening to – Wooten is one of the premier musicians in the entire world. But at about the 2:25 mark, he says something really interesting while comparing how kids learn language and how kids learn music. He says that as a child, you were (linguistically speaking) “allowed to jam with professionals.”

You know what? He’s right. That worked out pretty well. As little kids, when we mispronounced a word, our parents were there to gently correct us, to set us on the right path. They taught us new words and new ways of speaking, and opened us up to vast possibilities.

Our music teachers work hard to do the same thing. They are professional musicians who play along with their students. They work hard to show students possibility – and then help them “say” best what our students are interested in saying. As Wooten concludes, “After all, music is a language, too.”


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