Anorak News | Sing While You’re Losing

Sing While You’re Losing

by | 17th, January 2007

small_171149_1_1169031554.jpgSchool breaks up, school breaks down, we don’t care if the school falls down, no more media studies, no more French, no more giving birth on the old school bench…”

Ah, the simple joys of a good sing-song at school. And when children are not celebrating the school’s implosion and boxing the teacher’s ears if he interferes, they are rejoicing in morning assembly.

The strains of “God rest ye Gerry mental men, “to be a penguin” and the rallying cry of “Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspurs” roaring out over the assembled heads on a weekday morning.

The pleasures of a song cannot be underestimated. And the benefits of musical therapy have not escaped the attention of the very visible Education Secretary Alan Johnson.

As the Times reports, Johnson’s thinking is that “devoting more time to fostering a love of music will encourage pupils to become more self assured and to communicate more easily”.

But hold on a moment. Don’t the youth already love music? Doesn’t every generation beat out the meter to its own dance? Or is this new drive an attempt to get children listening to the right kind of music. If the Arctic Monkeys won’t come to Gordon Brown, bring Elgar and marching bands to the youth.

So there is a new “singing ambassador”. His name is Howard Goodall.

And Goodall’s first step, as the Times’ leader tells us, is to reinvigorate school choirs. Rather than being taught how to sing rap, punk or garage, the children will be instructed in the ways of Rule Britannia, the kind of music the Times says “brought relief to Lucknow and Mafiking”.

The Times want to know if anyone can tell it what happened early one morning, just as the sun was rising? It’s in luck. We can. “I heard a maid sing in the valley below ‘Oh don’t deceive me, Oh never leave me, How could you use, a poor maiden so?’”

Trisha will be answering that question and more when she reveals the results of this maiden’s baby’s DNA test on daytime telly.

It’s clear that any attempt to teach children what to sing and how to sing it will be met with blank expressions and reluctance.

Signing at school is a noble idea. But what to sing is the sticking point.

The Times looks at St Francis Roman Catholic primary school in Gorton, Manchester. It hears the pupils sing the register, the school prayer and the alphabet. There is even a song about how to tidy the classroom.

We imagine there are songs to send children to detention, set homework and explain why EastEnders if a modern tale of social realism in post-Thatcherite Britain in five verses or less.

And songs about how education is in a complete mess when besieged by failure, missed targets and rotten school, the only thing to do is sing, sing, sing!

Posted: 17th, January 2007 | In: Uncategorized Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink