11. Learning Songs
Learning to sing songs is pleasant, though also useless for music education.
Just like orchestras of noisy instruments, singing songs is included as an important part of public school curriculum. But I know a huge number of people that were stars in their choir class but are still ignoramuses when it comes to music. Singing is necessary and useful, but only if first the music notation is sung. Without doing this, it has nothing to do with music literacy, and therefore nothing to do with learning music.
Of course, when you go to a school event and hear a multitude of songs performed by your little pumpkin, you might be moved to tears. However, the entire semester has been wasted on the musically illiterate cramming of these songs while it could have been spent much more productively; they could have sung the songs out by notes and written them down in notation. It is possible that every now and then the children might remember how they sang in the choir, but they will never be able to play or write down that same melody again.
Learning to sing songs during music lessons is the same as learning poems by listening to the voice of a teacher during literature lessons. The auditory memory might get developed in this way, but the ability to read, write and think in the language of music isn’t helped at all.