Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mannes School Of Music Is one of the best music schools in the world

Under the new leadership of David Van Zandt, Mannes music school is to be changed and under threat because of lack of funds and finances, because of a supposedly stupid property deal, which was no fault of the students. This school is attached to The New School, which includes within its structure Parsons, the famous art college. 
I have had the fortune to listen to many beautiful concerts and performances for the last two years.  The teachers that have dedicated their lives to the school now live in fear of losing their jobs, and the students live in fear of closure of one of the most famous schools in THE WORLD. The future of music is so important that I am willing to write this, and this brilliant school in particular is worth fighting for. Without music there is nothing. If  Mr Van Zandt would like his financial re structuring to effect the way music is taught at Mannes then he is making a grave mistake. Music like all subjects has to be taught correctly and thoroughly and in the old fashioned way. (Unfortunately Handel and Bach are not alive to teach the budding students) It is proven that modern ways of teaching have left children illiterate and lacking knowledge. Mr Van Zandt seems to favour the other side of the New school never mentioning Mannes in his Twittering? Michelle Obama listens to The American National Anthem played by music students who are properly taught, otherwise they could not play... as well as wearing clothes from Parsons students? This is not a particular attack on Mr Van Zandt just that his reasoning does not add up, and as the head of this magnificent school, he has to listen to others views as well as his own.  
Classical and contemporary music are both important, without one there is not the other, and it does not have a time limit. It is often unprofitable, but there are always exceptions: People like Glenn Miller, Andrew Loyd Webber and Elton John, and many others, come from classical backgrounds and they would not exist without it. This is not an elitist subject but a subject that everybody can enjoy one way or another.  Sir Elton John was a classically trained concert pianist from Royal Academy of Music and Glenn Miller studied Schillinger technique with its founder and helped him create pieces like Moonlight serenade:

How sad and short sighted... 
Fight on students without music there is nothing in life. Music is used for adverts, film, art, Wells Fargo, all banks, lifts, clubs, all religions, marriage, death etc. Mannes is a school which crosses barriers and produces talented and enthusiastic performers. It is egalitarian. 

Without music and arts there is no culture and therefore no civilisation in any world including the technological age like ours. Music and art brings people together more than money, bankers, accountants, lawyers or the ipad.


I tried to telephone the school today to ask for an explanation and to voice my concerns, but got nowhere, the telephones are on an automated system which drives any sane person round the bend.

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