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#943208 - 06/10/08 04:05 AM "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Thoughts to share!

I received an email newsletter from Mary Gae George at "Artistry Alliance" that I want to share a quote from with you. I thought it was appropriate to think about at this time of worldly concern.

"In these days of political, personal and economic disintegration, music is not a luxury, it's a necessity; not simply because it is therapeutic, nor because it is the universal language, but because it is the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
~ Robert Shaw

Betty Patnude

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#943209 - 06/10/08 05:43 AM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
hopinmad Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/07
Posts: 1001
Loc: Eryri/Manchester
Is there anything wrong with that?


(Not trying to sound challenging!!)
_________________________
Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin

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#943210 - 06/10/08 06:19 AM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12121
Loc: Canada
Thank you, Betty, for bringing out even more aspects of the important role of music.

I am not sure that we are in any "days of personal disintegration". I imagine that since it is embroiled in a war, with the ensuing economic, social, emotional and moral cost that wars always bring, your country might be suffering especially from all these things - and I wish it a healing. I don't know the situation in Sweden, China, Ghana and whatever parts of the world we all come from.

The thought that music is a focus, and a positive one, of course implies the focus of people in a society - the students and the musicians. This will benefit individuals and society as a whole. That is important for every society in every country.

In Mary Gae George's quote, she is pleading for the importance of musical education, and I assume hoping for the support of it by society and perhaps government. As such I don't think that consideration of this article should be restricted to teachers. It is the public that lobbies and gives that support, and must be aware of the role that music plays. Carry on with the good work, music teachers.

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#943211 - 06/10/08 05:47 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
The person who said this is probably the Robert Shaw of "Robert Shaw Chorale" fame, I would think. There are probably lots of other things he has said that are remembered too. I can't wait to google him.

And, this reminds me that "Fred Waring" was very well respected too.

Betty

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#943212 - 06/10/08 05:59 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12121
Loc: Canada
Ah, I see an "edit" with the addition of Shaw. ;\)

The important point, however, is that everyone should lobby for the importance of music, non-teachers and teachers alike. These benefits of the pursuit of music should be known and fostered.

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#943213 - 06/10/08 06:14 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
I am confused now... ;\)

I thought that we in the West lived in days of health, wealth, serenity and power as we have never seen before.

We are, in fact, to the point that having eliminated any real concern (say: hunger; war; pestilence; fear of invasion) we now indulge in finding supposed catastrophes that are supposed to happen in a very remote future, so big is the eternal, undying need of being "concerned"...

Should I, then, start considering music a luxury? ;\)

Jokes aside, I'd say that this statement might have been written with the same words but substituting every other activity which capture the hearts of many people (say: gardening; horses; motorcycling(!); golfing; sailing; chess etc... ).

"In these days of (put hear your favorite catastrophe) alpinism is etc.... " . Would sound just as fine.
I call these "sound bites". Nothing bad in itself, just nothing I tend to get excited about.

In my eyes, one should play music *because he loves doing it*, without looking for any kind of "external" motives to provide a "reason", like in those statements beginning with "in these days".. ;\) , which I personally always look at with extreme suspicion.. \:\)
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#943214 - 06/10/08 06:40 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12121
Loc: Canada
Looking up Robert Shaw has given important meaning to those words. Quick impression: Mr. Shaw was an American choral conductor who created new standards, and was a transforming influence with a wide reach. I noted that his first choir was known for its racial integration at a time that this was relatively new, so this can be seen as opportunity for those who once had little.

His statement is a vision, and it would seem that once he formed his vision, he led through it. If the first part of his words reflect a negative view of his society, the subsequent words - or rather his actions - are an antidote. He did not wait for his society to change: he transformed it through his work, applying his standards and vision wherever he went.

I noticed that this quote is used often by various music schools, societies, and individual teachers as a rallying cry to stress the importance of the work. However, having browsed through the biography, I see it as an indication of the power of leadership of a teacher (what else is a conductor) provided he has the vision and the knowledge.

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#943215 - 06/10/08 09:51 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
That's nice to know about Robert Shaw, Keystring!

I haven't had a chance to look him and Fred Waring up today, but I do remember hearing their music and loving the television shows they were on - this must have been the 1950's or 1960's perhaps early 1970's, but I'm not sure.

Hearing about his vision and knowledge and influence is pleasing to me.

I'm glad you were curious about him and could fill us in a bit.

Thanks!

Betty

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#943216 - 06/10/08 10:11 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 12121
Loc: Canada
"Lead with vision" is a favourite saying of mine and this is what Shaw seems to have done.

A side note about Waring is that he backed an invention, which is why the Waring kitchen blender has that name. Waring gave Shaw his chance straight out of college. His television show ran in the late 1940's to 1950's, it says.

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#943217 - 06/11/08 09:38 PM Re: "the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill."
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Thanks again, Keystring.

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