Friday, February 3, 2012 – Eatontown Memorial Middle School Dance

“Music in Schools”

It occurred to me about 30 minutes into the Eatontown, Memorial Middle School Dance, why music is so important to have in school’s curriculum. Laughingly, one of the awesome teachers there said “You ask the kids the times tables and get a blank stare, but then they know all the dances to all the songs.”  It was a funny comment while the kids were all doing the “Dougie”, but It made me think that I was exactly the same way (minus the times table part, I was pretty good in math) – we all knew all the dances and all the songs.  It was the one thing that all the kids in my elementary/middle/high school had in common. Regardless of race, gender, background, if someone was singing/rapping a song that everyone liked and knew, you would have 20 people chiming in on the chorus.

I remember a bus trip out to Amish country in PA, where we were all singing “Ladi Dadi” by Slick Rick  – 30 kids on a school bus… must have drove our teachers and parents nuts…. But music kept us together… The same thing holds true 20-30 years later… At this dance, I played “We Found Love” – Rihanna ft Calvin Harris, and all the girls are singing together and dancing, regardless of once again race, gender, or background.  I played “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO to the same affect – boys and girls together singing & dancing.  The kids on this night had a great time, and I really thought that music in schools is such a big part of kids understanding each other, experiencing different cultures, backgrounds, and era. When the same teacher asked me to play “Apache” by The Sugar Hill Gang and dedicate it to a student, I thought, I was dancing to this song at my School Dance…… and the effect was exactly the same…. A room full of kids doing the dance…..

When you reflect back to school you may not remember verbatim learning your spelling words, or parts of history or science, but if you were in a music class, you probably remember the songs word for word you sang back then.  Songs that helped shape who you are, songs that if you put a room full of adults from the same school together, they could probably sing it in unison, just like they did in School…

Thanks to Miss Krsyzckowski and Miss Collins for a great time, and all the kids who made it to the dance at Memorial Middle… Thanks for bringing back some warm memories, and some songs in my head from the past… I enjoyed partying with you and look forward to doing it again.


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