We all tweet. Trump, Macron, and now Mr. Kurz, too. “have clear [sic] commitment to a differentiatated [sic] & performance-rewardings [sic] school system”, he tweets—and if not correctly, then at least rightly. But we are save! Even under Mr. Kurz, people in Austria will still be able to go to school. Even if, after reading his tweet, we’d be pardoned for worrying about our schools’ quality.
Music teachers can breathe easiest of all, because music as a school subject was bled almost completely dry all the way back in the days of Werner Faymann’s Social Democratic government. Back then, musical training at teachers’ colleges got slashed from 12.75 to just 5.5 hours per week—so we’d have music teaching in schools that’s worse, but all the more serious for it? Or just how are we to make sense of that? And if the Social Democrats were already thinking that way, then what will a right-wing minister of education end up joyfully proclaiming?
We music teachers aren’t exactly known for goose-stepping straight towards the goal of the optimally optimised child in order to goose-step said child right back out to its graduation afterwards. And we’re proud of that! …Or at least that’s been my take on it.
Until, just recently, it happened: I was staring into the faces of a horde of school students. And I liked them so much. Children are truly miraculous beings. They can never find their homework, but they’re always quick to locate every object needed to produce a music room noisescape that would do a large-scale construction site proud.
I, the euphoric music teacher, live my life somewhere between this real chaos in and around music class and the romantic wishes of every Ministry of Education. Oh, children, wouldn’t we all be happy and grateful if Eve, in the Garden of Eden, had already been taken from Adam’s ribs equipped with a sense of rhythm and an accordion in her hands. But since Adam’s thing with the apple at the very latest, we’ve been here, in music class, just like the good Lord created us! Which is precisely where my criticism of creation would have begun if class hadn’t—finally—started running smoothly. With everyone sitting in their seats and tweeting happily away—
if not correctly, then at least rightly! Just like the grownups.
A column of the student body of the mdw (hmdw)