When I was a little kid (primary school age), I remember my family TV diet involved a lot of family shows like The Cosby Show and Family Ties. I also recall sneaking in a bit of Dr Who and The Goodies on ABC after school. I can’t remember exactly what type of videos/movies we used to watch regularly, but I do remember watching Annie, Star Wars or Dark Crystal on VHS everytime I was sick at home!
But with our own kids (now 7 and 9), our family TV diet includes mostly performing art reality shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Australian Idol. As for movies, the kids have been raised mostly on musicals and dancing shows. The collection is expansive now, but early ones included The Wizard of Oz, Burn The Floor, Mary Poppins and Centre Stage, and current ones that have a lot of “airplay” include Cats, Dreamgirls and Hairspray. I’m sure Mamma Mia would get regular rotation if/when we get it on DVD.
I wonder whether this has any long term effect. I’m sure watching a whole stack of performance reality shows would mould the brain and subconcious in a different way to watching a whole lot of comedy and family relationship shows. Hmmm… I guess we won’t know until a decade or two.
I’m so proud of my wife! A couple of years ago, she was asked if she would like to co-author a new music resource book for teachers, focussing on teaching musical concepts through Opera and Music Theatre. She would be in charge of writing the section on Music Theatre – a personal passion of hers. She of course was very excited, agreed and started the hard slog.
It was a very different experience – designing example lessons and writing for teachers, rather than creating lessons for her own students. Also, it was all a new insight for both of us into how a book is produced – the deadlines, the proof reading, but then afterwards all the activities that followed like layout, and obtaining permissions for musical examples.
The other different thing to deal with was that she didn’t get paid while writing. I’m assuming that this is the usual way it works unless you’re a very successful author? For my wife, the money (a very small percentage) only starts to roll in for each book that is sold. We both did sit down and discuss the purpose of this whole exercise – we agreed that large financial rewards was not the key goal (although that would be nice!) but rather it was to contribute to the greater community of music education in Australia and for the personal experience.
Well, finally the book is now being sold and the book launch is tomorrow! It seems sort of anti-climatic since it was written last year, but it’s good moment to pause and celebrate.
If you are a classroom music teacher (high school) and want some new ideas or to incorporate Opera or Music Theatre examples and concepts into your teaching, buy this book!!!