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Beliefs About the Purpose of Education

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The Purpose of a College and Public Education?

Do you think it is important to get our children the best education possible early on? Seems like a no-brainer, obvious answer question, doesn’t it? Yet, it is because many of us (adults) have varying beliefs about the purpose of education that we (our society and culture) can not seem to agree on what a good education really is.

I will take a leap of (your) faith right here and now. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about a young kid in public pre-school, K-9, High School or a young adult in College. The purpose of education is to teach our future leaders, doctors, lawyers and craftsmen how to use their brains or “how to think!”

By “how to think,” I mean the opposite of “what to think!” It is my opinion that true education enables and supports the student to develop the ability and “strength of mind” necessary to figure out, in a creative and dynamic fashion, the answers and solutions to life’s many problems.

It is to this end that I assert there is no better modality or means of strengthening the minds of our young ones than in supporting and encouraging their interest in music; whether in learning how to play a musical instrument or in listening to and appreciating good music.

What is the purpose of public education?

The current mantra is “we need to improve our kids reading and math skills! Reading and math, reading and math, reading and math - most important! The other stuff; music and the arts, we’ll trash that.” They can get that on their own time. Download it off the internet, join a rock band. They can fit it in on their spare time with their own resources after karate, gymnastics and football practice!

So I ask; if this new purpose of public education is so brilliant and effective, how is it a large percentage of our strongest minds; our scientists, mathematicians, physicists and medical doctors are also musicians? How do we explain away the fact that many of these minds got their start in music as part of their public education?

What is the purpose of a college education?

In light of our new found dedication to reading and math as the Holy Grail to competency and achievement in our culture, it is pertinent to rethink the purpose of a college education. If the function – purpose of education is to build a mind entirely on a specific set of skills such as math and reading, then it will fail. Why? Because, the development of “our human mind” (the mind of humanity) began with music and the arts, not the other way around.


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Much of our mathematics, physics, and writings (reading) grow from the arts, music and humanities, i.e. philosophy. If you listen to our education bureaucrats, the arts are separate concerns from the practical necessities of adding, subtracting and writing. They aren’t. We see art and math merged into one, every day. We see it in our bridges, our buildings, and designs and outward forms of everything that we create, from cars to rocket ships.

In a similar fashion, music merges all the higher functions of thinking and mental acuity into esthetics. The ancient Greeks recognized music as a science. The meaning of their “University” meant the bringing together or confluence of all the higher disciplines and realms of thought, studies and of scientific research – in order to discover and to create a place and a space where greater truth and knowledge and wisdom can prevail.

No matter what our beliefs are about the purpose of education, we need to think much more carefully and wisely about where we are taking ourselves and pointing our future generations. Is the purpose of our education to become drones, androids and zombies? Or is our education purpose to instill a deeper sense of humanity for humanity and to plant the seeds of beauty, serenity and wisdom for our future leaders, our doctors and our scientists?

Which future would you rather live in? I know which one I want to live in. Let music show the way!

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