Home  |  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       



June 2016
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
I Asked Eighth Graders Fifteen Questions About Music
Their answers were astounding!
Article By Christy Crowl Of ProMusicDB.org


  When your head is buried in music credits and metadata and your eyes have burned into your computer screens (yes, musicians usually have several going at once) for weeks on end, sometimes you just need feedback on what you're doing from someone more real than the voice at the other end of a Skype call. At least that's the case for me. So, I decided to call my good friend and fellow musical colleague Tina Curtis to ask what her eighth grade choir students were doing in their morning class on Thursday, and if I could come by to ask them some questions.

A little background on Tina's students at Frost Middle School in Granada Hills, California and how I know them: just several weeks ago, Tina called me in a pinch to fill in when her regular school accompanist dropped out of both a music festival and their spring concert. I happily obliged, as it would give me reason to get me out of my "cave" (music friends understand what this is). I met the kids for the first time in the rehearsal room before the festival, and although I know it was nerve wracking for them to get a fill-in pianist last minute, they won Gold at the festival, and their female soloist won Best Overall Soloist as well. I was thrilled for my friend Tina, who has built the program over the course of the last three years, without any program to "take over" or for the kids to model. She started from scratch, got the parents and school to support the music programs she wanted to build   and the music kids in return have become a source of pride for the school and community. Their spring concert was like a rock concert, with friends and families in the audience, three camera video set-up, rhythm section, set, props, and choreography   all from private help to the school via the parents. It was truly special to be part of, and there were times you couldn't hear over all the screams of support.

So Thursday, I went to see these kids and ask them about music. In class that day there were a total of thirty-five students, from both the choir and the percussion ensemble programs. I had fifteen questions (well, actually seventeen, but I called the extra two "bonuses") written down to ask them, which I'd constructed to really find out what music means to them and what value they gave it in their life. To my delight and surprise, they loved talking about the subject and weren't scared to share some pretty emotional insights in front of their peers. It was actually a very mature atmosphere and everyone in the room willingly participated in the dialog.

Here are their astounding eighth-grade answers.

Q1: a. How many hours a day do you listen to music?

A1: a. 5 hours, 3 hours, 7 hours, 2 hours, 4 hours, and 8 hours.

b. Why do you listen to music instead of doing something else with that time?

b. It keeps me in a happy mood; it helps my emotions; it helps me focus; it cures my boredom; it motivates me; it can change my mood from bad to good.


Q2: What's your favorite kind of music to listen to and why?

A2: Rock and Punk, the Beatles, everything 60's, Alternative, Classical, Rap, happy or original; music lifts me up (classical) or helps me match my mood (punk).


Q3: Do you remember the first piece of music you ever heard and what it was?

A3: My mom used to sing songs; Russian music; the Beatles; Church; Michael Jackson; Country; KROQ; Glory; 80's Music; Latest hits.


Q4: What kind of medium did you first hear music on? (radio, computer, etc.).

A4: Car radio (most everyone), vinyl LP, and iPad.


Q5: Do your parents like music? Do they listen to music a lot? Do you go to live music concerts with them?

A5: 100% of parents like music; majority listen to it a lot; majority goes to concerts.



Q6: When you like a song or piece of music and play it over and over, what makes you keep playing it? What do you like about it?

A6: Like figuring out what instruments are being used (most); voice and lyrics (also most); beat, rhythm, and harmony.


Q7: How does listening to or performing music make you feel?

A7: Confident (most); Energetic; Motivated; Excited; Intense; Nervous before, happy at the end.


Q8: How do you learn about music to listen to in general   on or through what?

A8: Instagram (most); on the computer; friends, siblings, or parents; social media; tumbler; playlists; music.ly (an app).


Q9: How do you learn about the songwriters or the musicians who play on the music that you like?

A9: Can't find out usually (most).


Q10: Would you like to know more about who wrote, played or performed on the music that you like? And if yes, why? Do you know what liner notes are? Do you know what credits are?

A10: Yes (most); it's always good to learn new information about your favorite songs; no (and only 1 girl knew what liner notes were); credits are at the end of a movie to tell you people's names.

NOTE: I DID explain to them what liner notes and music credits were after they answered this, and they wanted them.


Q11: How many of you like to sing?

A11: 100%


Q12: How many of you play an instrument too?

A12: About 80%


Q13: Is music something that is "valuable" to you?

A13: Yes, 100%


Q14: What if music didn't exist or wasn't in your life?

A14: there wouldn't be any culture; you couldn't express yourself; I would be a monochromatic person; I couldn't express or relate to anything; I wouldn't be myself; I wouldn't know how to deal with anything in life; it's the only subject that teaches you about life in school   in math class it's supposed to teach you how to get a job, but it doesn't teach you how to talk to people.


Q15: If you had only $5 a week in allowance (and all your basic needs for food and shelter were met), would you spend any of it on music if that was the only way you could have access to it?

A15: 100% would spend all $5 on buying music; some said they would want it for free but would pay for it out of their allowance if it wasn't.


Bonus Questions
Do any of you want to be musicians when you grow up? If yes, why?

About ten kids (out of thirty-five) wanted to be musicians.

To share music; because it's second nature; to express my feelings to people; I like seeing all the people at your concert making you feel loved.



Why is learning music important even if you don't want to be a musician? What one non-musical thing have you learned from music class that you don't get anywhere else?

Getting to know each other; sharing new music with each other; teamwork; you won't get anywhere if you don't practice or work for it; just do it; to always have fun; being a bigger/better person; once in a lifetime experience; cherish each moment; confidence and teamwork; can't learn life skills in any other class; having it on your record will be good when applying to college; having amazing memories.


To conclude, honestly, I can't say that I would have anything different to add to these answers, even with a few decades of life and experience on these kids (including their favorite kind of music   the Beatles still rule). It's like they already know what I do about music  at that age, at that level. They understand, without being told, that music helps them figure it all out. If anything, I got a big validation for spending my time locked up in a cave for hours staring at computer screens and metadata working on ProMusicDB. But I also got an even bigger validation for staying the musical course of my life, and that is   MUSIC SPEAKS TO WHAT REALLY MATTERS.

I hope it speaks the same to you, too.


More About The Author

Subscribe to Christy Crowl's Musician to Musicpreneur Newsletter

If you're a musician, sign up and preserve your legacy with ProMusicDB today: promusicdb.org


Connect with Christy Crowl on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/promusicdb and www.facebook.com/christycrowlofficial

Twitter: Christy Crowl

Instagram: Christy Crowl

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/christycrowl


Christy Crowl , Founder of ProMusicDB.org

Christy Crowl is the Founder of ProMusicDB.org, a member of Grammy-winning band Mannheim Steamroller, and passionate advocate for musicians in the digital world. You can contact her at christy@promusicdb.org.














































Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews



Show Reports
HIGH END Munich 2024
AXPONA 2024 Show Report
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
...More Show Reports


Our Featured Videos


Industry & Music News

High-Performance Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.