I would like to see the American Harp Society take an official stand protesting the elimination of professorships in harp at colleges and universities, conservatory teaching positions, and hopefully turn around the trend of dissolving such positions as people retire. Not to mention the creation of new programs.
I’d like to see the middle class in the USA, what’s left of it, slow down, unplug, walk more, divorce less, and value and appreciate classical music lessons, years of them, in their children’s lives again: piano, voice, classical guitar, harp, violin, etc.
I’d like to learn that families were listening to classical music on public radio, that classical music broadcasts were available in every car on every highway, that US and beyond-our-borders classical composers were not ignored by the US news media.
I’d like to learn that people were singing again in the USA, at home, in churches, in schools, and that choir attendance was up. I’d like to see decent music play a stronger role in public life.
I’d like every town and city to have at least one restaurant where a harpist performed in the corner, perhaps while doubling as the restaurant hostess, or host.
I’d like every hospital lobby to have a harpist.
I’d like to learn that more US families valued self-sufficiency: making their own music with thorough training, growing their own food, practicing lots of constructive creativity.
I’d like to see a restoration of civility, compassion and hospitality as national values, whether it’s in the way we shop, work, drive, walk, speak, act, and I’d like to watch citizens value a clean environment and good nutrition.
I’d like every city to offer the discipline of learning harp and classical guitar and other strings in its public schools. We have too few of those now. If it were not in the public schools, then in churches and community arts centers.
I’d like families and individuals to purchase and/or swap for locally-made items at least a third of the time, furniture, musical instruments, tailored and stitched clothing, paintings for the walls of their houses, knitted items, edible goods, dishes, glassware, lace, throw rugs, toys, raised garden beds, play houses.
I’d like to see penmanship reintroduced as a life skill, and other skills that involve patience and fine-motor control, fishing, hunting, sewing, sketching.
I’d like to see hiking, canoeing, tree, bird and wildflower identification, gardening, spoken conversations in the same room, reading, poetry memorization, music lessons, woodworking, badminton, swimming, tennis all take precedence over the concussion-sports of soccer and football, and instant gadgetry–and that’s just a start!
I’d like this society to pursue peace, finally, bike lanes, thoughtful conservation of resources, because wars of coveting come with a horrific price in all involved countries, and all other facets of our society suffer…including the arts and the individual families. I’d like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to be topics of discussion, along with Truth,Goodness and Beauty-off line.
I’d like to see composers be honored by having orchestras required to make use of the numbers of harpists indicated by the composer’s score, whether unison doubling or not, instead of hiring/using one harpist and expecting h/h to play, with two hands, two feet, and one brain, a part intended for three or more players.
I’d like to experience fewer drums slamming their rhythms violently into my body everywhere I go. I have nothing against percussion. “Drum sets” and their recordings need to be destroyed.
I’d like to see music valued among the public as the living, enriching art it is, instead of simply a vehicle for personal glory, untold wealth, and emotional vomiting.
I’d like to see the statement, “I own my own business. I sing for a living,” met an acknowledgement that I have a right to earn my daily bread using the body God gave me, just like every laborer does — instead of with contempt.
I’d like to see less nepotism in church music: I’d like to see more interest in making music to the glory of God, as opposed to the glory of parishioners.
I’d like to see churches stop paying for licensing rights to ridiculously terrible music, start making use of the free music composed before copyright laws existed, and put their money instead toward paying trained musicians to bring it to life. Music in church should not simply present to the people what they already know; it should give them a glimpse into the mystery of what they don’t.
I’d like to see older churches, designed for sound projection before the advent of microphones, utilized in the way they were intended. Throw the microphones off the choir loft and let the congregation trample them as they walk in.
I’d like to see public school music teachers be required to have experience in the instrument they are teaching. This would ensure a better education for the students, and create more jobs for teachers. (In NH, this isn’t a requirement. Our local high school chorus teacher is a clarinetist who teaches information that is 100% incorrect and horribly dangerous to vocal health.)
I’d like to see this article posted in every public school music room, and printed in every public school concert program. The next time music is going to be cut from a budget, I want to see someone stand up and draw the line between music and math scores. http://www.brams.umontreal.ca/plab/research/dossiers_vulgarisation/newsweek_musicmind/newsweek_musicmind.html?Story_ID=329414
(Why don’t we ever cut football? The concussions literally make kids dumber, and there are plenty of other sports that don’t have that problem!)
This is a fantastic thread!
I would love to see every economically disadvantaged child have their needs met including having music lessons.
I would love to see more openness, compassion, and respect instead of fear, defensiveness, and dismissal.
Susan, you are a very nice person. It is the work of a few good people that changes the world, and creates new excitement and dreams. Many harpists have been very selfish and mean spirited, in other words, not caring about the harp, music or beauty but their own selfish moronic agendas. This has harmed the prestige of the harp, not to mention the pettiness of the manufacturers in their slovenly pursuits. (Not the workers, however who are often wonderful) The frauds will soon be exposed and shamed. The pure of heart shall carry on in the pursuit of beauty and the purity of our harps. Kent Vogel A. S. C. A. P.
This is a pretty good list, and I particularly like the encouragement of harp and classical guitar. I’d like to add that every youth hostel should be provided with a guitar or other musical instrument to be made available to hostelers. And back-porch banjo should be encouraged.
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