Tuesday, August 12, 2008


In all my Russian schools, and AFAIK in at least most of the Finnish schools of my friends, there were obligatory music lessons where people were allegedly taught to sing. Except that they weren't. People were ordered to sing, and given good grades if they could and bad grades if they couldn't, but I don't remember anyone actually teaching us to sing at any point, in the sense of explaining to us how to do it. Either you could do it, or you couldn't. I was an adult before I realized that singing is in principle teachable.

Now that I think about it it's quite weird. I started wondering whether the same was the case with any other subject, and it wasn't. In any subject there were people who could just naturally do it without any input from the school, but the point was to teach stuff to the ones who couldn't. The people who were not gifted in math were taught at least some math, the people who couldn't spell well were taught the proper spelling, the people who had absolutely no talent or experience in drawing were taught to draw at least somehow, but the people who did not know how to sing were just ordered to demonstrate this fact and given bad grades. In every single school that I'd been to.

I wonder why. I also wonder whether there is any place who teaches singing to adult people who don't have any talent and aren't planning to do anything with this particular skill except maybe singing some drinking songs at some party.

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