The Tale of the Music Ban


I’d like to call for a ban on the use of songs in the kindergarten classroom.

I imagine studies have been conducted on the pedagogical merits of melodies when instructing young children, but have there been any studies on the sanity of the parents who have to endure endless singing when those children bring those songs home? Has anyone thought through the fact that a 5-year-old child at play at home will mindlessly cycle through whatever song has most recently been impressed on her young mind in her classroom? And there are songs about EVERYTHING. I’ve heard songs about the days of the week, the months of the year, parts of a book — and this morning we were regaled with “Letter tree, letter tree, listen to the letter tree” on a persistent, loud, obnoxious loop. I’m sure I heard that phrase sung 1.2 million times (note: not an exact count. Might have been 1.18).

Children can learn without music. Long before “Letter Tree” was penned (was someone commissioned to write that opus? Are royalties being earned? Can I maybe hint to someone that my child should be sued for singing that song in public without permission from the artist?), children learned how to read. After walking uphill (knowing the return trip would also be uphill), in year-round snow, with only one pair of mittens to share with a sibling, my parents sat in a one-room school house and learned their ABCs. Neither has ever once fumbled on their days of the week, months of the year or confused their right and left hands. I’ve never once had to sing “T is for tidy up” to get them to clean. All that learning took place in a joyless, colourless, silent classroom and I believe they were the better for it (though, come to think of it, I may have heard a rendition of “The hooves on the horse go clop, clop, clop…”). 

So, who’ll sign my petition?


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