Or is sport more important than music?

(208 Posts)
Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 19:34:44

Having an argument with DP about our DS learning music in the future. DP was in an orchestra at school - do kids really play in orchestras any more? Surely it's a bit 1950s and playing sport is more important for development and making friends?

PoppySeed2014 Sat 19-Jul-14 19:36:29

Are you for real? Orchestras a bit 1950's?!

<cries into gin>

usualsuspectt Sat 19-Jul-14 19:36:35

There is a place for both.

Neither is more important than the other. Or you can do both.

magpiegin Sat 19-Jul-14 19:37:05

I don't think one is more important than the other. I did both and school and loved them. Your son will ultimately do what he is most interested in.

Clobbered Sat 19-Jul-14 19:38:21

What utter rubbish. Of course kids still learn instruments, play in orchestras and develop all the same kind of social skills, team working etc that they do in sport by participating in music (and arguably many more, but let's not go there for now). Why not let your kids try both and see which suits them best, rather than shutting out the possibility of either by deciding that it's too 1950s?

Maestro Sat 19-Jul-14 19:38:32

What Poppy said, with bells on.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Jul-14 19:38:45

DS plays football and cricket for his school (and outside school) AND plays in the school orchestra and wind band (and county jazz band / music lessons outside school).

He benefits hugely from both.

Maryz Sat 19-Jul-14 19:39:19


<backs away slowly>

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 19:39:19

YAB daft! grin

playing in an orchestra/group is an amazing sense of being a team just as sport is

my DDs have both just done 6 day residential course for a county youth orchestra and it is awesome
all 3 of my kids sing in choirs and play 2 instruments

that's not to say physical activity is not also important and rewarding, and a means of making friends

neither is "more important" - some people like one more than the other or are gifted in one not the other

bigTillyMint Sat 19-Jul-14 19:39:27

I agree with usualsuspect. There are orchestras and bands in most secondary schools as well as footy/rugby/whatever teams.

FatalCabbage Sat 19-Jul-14 19:39:44


How old is DS? Music supports numeracy and literacy. Sport is important but music is too.

Having an interest in or aptitude for sport is a useful life skill, for health as well as social life. But not at the expense of music. Music is a human universal; sport is not.

usualsuspectt Sat 19-Jul-14 19:40:36

Mt DS played football and guitar. Not at the same time though.

Sure kids play in orchestras! Ds plays percussion and is in his school orchestra, wind band, swing band and percussion group. He has made loads of friends through music, as I did when I was a teenager. He also plays cricket and loves that too.

I wouldn't say either is more important, it depends on what your child is interested in. I wasn't remotely sporty, but loved music. Some children love sport but have no interest in playing an instrument. Others like both. Some may not enjoy either but be into art/drama etc. Go with what your child enjoys.

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 19:41:14

not listening to the prom then OP?

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 19:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

usualsuspectt Sat 19-Jul-14 19:42:20

I was crap at sport and music. grin

bakingtins Sat 19-Jul-14 19:42:21

Both are important. All children should be given opportunities to do sport (lots of different types to find something they are good at or enjoy) and music. Some of them will want to be in an orchestra or the rugby team, others will not have aptitude for either, but they'll never know until they try.

JenniferJo Sat 19-Jul-14 19:42:38

Music and literature are far, far more important than playing games.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 19:44:07

I was really good at music and really crap at sport. I played in an orchestra and made friends there.

My friend was really good at sport and really crap at music. She played on the hockey team and made friends there.

And wait for this, because this is amazing, another friend was really good at sport and really good at music and she...did both!

It's fairly straightforward.

pinkdelight Sat 19-Jul-14 19:46:44

I could (and pretty much do) live without sport, but not without music. Yab crackers.

millionsofpeaches Sat 19-Jul-14 19:48:16

I did both at school. Many of the girls in the school teams were also in the concert band and jazz bands too. I also did drama and dance too. It's not mutually exclusive!

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 19:49:52

DS is nearly two and does like singing nursery rhymes but I genuinely thought that music stuff at school didn't really happen anymore, isn't it all football at school and then trying to get on X Factor? Do kids still learn instruments?

SomeSunnySunday Sat 19-Jul-14 19:49:56

How can you choose between sport, or music, or art?! I think that the important thing is to encourage a healthy lifestyle and a creative outlet (or several), by giving your children access to lots of different activities from across the spectrum in the hope that they will find one or two that really suit them and which they can continue into adulthood.

SomeSunnySunday Sat 19-Jul-14 19:51:25

Of course children still learn instruments. My nearly six year old is learning to play the violin and will learn recorder from next year at school. Lots of his friends are starting music lessons.

usualsuspectt Sat 19-Jul-14 19:53:49

My DGS is learning to play the ukulele at school. Music still plays a big part in many schools.

borisgudanov Sat 19-Jul-14 19:54:05

When I was last at uni, music was sport. See how many bars of Dvořák 9 we could get away with before someone fucked up. Result: 6 ('cellos). See how fast I would dare take the Hebrides overture. Result: not very.

PoppySeed2014 Sat 19-Jul-14 19:55:13

Oh for goodness sake. This has to be a wind up. If it isn't it's incredibly depressing.

TurboWithAKick Sat 19-Jul-14 19:58:25

he's not even 2 yet!!

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:00:09

Sorry not meaning to wind anyone up but just don't see how music lessons get you anywhere <dons hard hat>. No adults I know play anything but lots do sport.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 19-Jul-14 20:02:16

Both are important.

But he's only two. Give him a chance to enjoy both before setting him on any path.

Personally, I found music to be more important for my mental health.

It has it's own challenges, and to be honest, in order to be a top notch performer you do need to be physically quite fit. Look at the breath control of wind and brass players, the strength and coordination needed to hold some of the larger instruments.

PedlarsSpanner Sat 19-Jul-14 20:04:25


treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:04:46

Do the adults who you know who do sport do it professionally? Because if not, how has it 'got them anywhere'? If they're doing it for enjoyment, then it's no different to doing music for enjoyment.

And if you're talking about a young person having something to put on a cv, sport and music both fulfill a similar function - self discipline and possibly teamwork. So no difference there either.

Yama Sat 19-Jul-14 20:05:19

This must be a reverse. Surely nobody could be this obtuse?

DiaDuit Sat 19-Jul-14 20:05:27

Oh dear. I'm so blush for you OP. i dont even think it's funny how ignorant you are coming across as.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 19-Jul-14 20:06:05

Musicians need discipline, concentration, problem solving skills, empathy, coordination.

Music builds up connections between brain and body- pianists have to read two lines of music and then get their arms, hands and feet working together to get it right.

Older musicians tend to be more mentally active.

GreeboOgg Sat 19-Jul-14 20:06:37

Pass that bottle Poppy?

PoppySeed2014 Sat 19-Jul-14 20:07:12

Ok, I'll bite. Music teaches you patience, persistence, ability to work with others, concentration, delayed gratification, a life skill... Sport teaches many wonderful things too.

Giving a child the opportunity to learn an instrument has been shown time and time again to aid them in their academic studies.

And really, you don't know any adults who play anything?!

PoppySeed2014 Sat 19-Jul-14 20:07:41

It's Hendricks. Enjoy.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 19-Jul-14 20:09:30

Music is everywhere- if you go into an old fashioned pub with a piano, the most popular person there will be the one playing, for fun or for drinks.

Music is something that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of any physical difficulties they may have. Regardless of age and talent. Sport, however is sadly not.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:09:41

I know one adult - no, make that two, who 'plays sport' (as opposed to people who run or swim, the vasr majority of whom were PE-dodgers at school, including me). I know the second one because he sings in my chamber choir. I know lots of singers and a few other musicians.

I have one musical child and one unmusical one. Musical child has access to a huge range of musical activities provided through our local authority. Of course there are bloody orchestras.

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:09:55

Music is a waste of time. So is art, and books, they're shit too.

I look forward to the day when music, art and books are replaced with badminton.

Theas18 Sat 19-Jul-14 20:11:30

Is it wind up?

Here's my windy uppy answer. Music is all. Sport is all very well..... But gets your child broken in many ways and often (yes DS I have lost count of the rugby injuries!)

DS shelved the rugby in favour of schools symphony orchestra in year 13 , with reluctance but the realisation if he wanted top a level grades he couldn't risk being " damaged" at any point.

His lovely GF smashed her ankle, badly, in semi pro footy just as study leave started. Hopefully her Physio place isn't at risk but she spent much of the exam period in hospital, or drugged up or in pain.

Can't beat music for making friends, team work yet learning to lead and also perform alone, my musicians have toured much more and better places than the sports teams...Good teen musicians can earn some money - don't think many non career sportspersons do that ( choral scholarship , singing at weddings and funerals - eldest, DS dep work singing and playing rare, but it's starting).

Schools and county music is still huge. The national youth orchestras / choirs/ brass bands / recorder orchestra etc etc etc should show you how much is going on.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:12:00

And did you not notice the school orchestra when you were at school? I'm assuming you weren't at school in the 1950s...

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:12:31

Thinking of people I went to school with, I know two who went on to be professional sportsmen.

And I know about a dozen who earn a bit of money from performing music. Now, the music is a sideline for them, some of them play the organ at weddings, some do a few gigs at the weekends. Their earnings might be a few thousand a year, which is obviously a lot less than the two professional sportsmen earned from their careers, but still, there are more of them who have 'done something' with music than with sport.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:12:32

I honestly don't know anyone who plays anything, it's so expensive to buy an instrument surely. Other than singing I suppose. Cheap to have a kick about...

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:13:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wtffgs Sat 19-Jul-14 20:14:10

Clutches wine in despair!

Echo PP "are you for real?". Can you not do both? shock

I wish I had had more opportunities with music and sport - well, I think I have dyspraxic traits so was roundly ignored by PE staff at school. Music teaching was shite then too.

I hope my kids will fare better and not develop an either/or mentality. (Or neither/nor in my case sad)

doubleshotespresso Sat 19-Jul-14 20:14:47

^^ squoosh could not have put it better myself grin

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:14:49

My daughter's instruments are hired v cheaply from the school music service.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:14:58

There was an orchestra at school but I was never really interested. DP played double bass though (big chap). It's a big cello apparently.

ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 19-Jul-14 20:15:23

Not really sure why, at 2, this is an "either / or" situation. It's good for kids IMO to get exposure to lots of different types of activity along the way.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:15:34

Well then you noticed there was an orchestra.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:15:51

It might be free to have a kick about in the park, but in general sports cost a lot of money too. Kit, transport to training, fees to a club. If money is a struggle, sport is just as inaccessible as music.

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:16:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:16:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:16:59

Can't resist, because I know now that this is a wind up, but I dare you to tell a professional double bass player that it's a big cello grin They won't be pleased!

feebeecat Sat 19-Jul-14 20:17:31

Nearly two? Getting a bit ahead of yourself here.
Why not wait and see what he likes - just a thought. Of my two nephews, one loves all things sporty and is in teams both in and out of school. The other not so much, but plays three instruments & is in two bands outside school - how their mother keeps up with who should be where and with what escapes me grin

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:17:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:19:27

He's only two but I'm stressing about good schools (we're in London) and have to worry about local admission criteria and then extra curricular activities and sport and music and all that money to pay out. Music just for me is something you listen to on the radio and not have to pay to engage with.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:21:04

Yes, those people on the radio were born magically able to play music, none of them learnt the skill. It juet magically happens by the power of radio waves. True fact.

Panzee Sat 19-Jul-14 20:21:13

You've made me realise we never had a school orchestra.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:21:32

Kids don't go to school till they're four. Even in London. A decent school will offer a range of activities. My kids' local primary (yes, in London) has lots of sporty stuff and a hell of a lot of music.

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:21:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:22:37

Really, Panzee? Was it a private school? State schools all seem to have them. Certainly all the comps I know do.

DiaDuit Sat 19-Jul-14 20:22:58

Surely by that 'logic' hmm sport is just something that is on tv that you watch and dont have to pay to engage with?

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:24:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 19-Jul-14 20:24:13

Good schools will give your son lots of exposure to sport and music, and shouldn't value one over the other. Either will cost you money anyway.

thecageisfull Sat 19-Jul-14 20:24:19

Weird thread

They are not mutually exclusive.
Some people enjoy one or the other, some both, some neither.
Not everything you to do has to get you somewhere.
Some sports are solitary, some music is sociable and vice versa.
Some instruments are cheap, or if not at least they are often a one off purchase. Some sports kit is very expensive and often has other expenses (transport to daily training at 5am for example). Sports kit tends to be high turnover. Neither football boots or racing swimwear lasts long in this house, the piano on the other hand...
Your baby is not a weird science project.
Literature kicks both into a cocked hat anyway. wink
How the hell have you not seen an orchestra in the past 60 years. Have you never seen a band, or a bloke in a subway with a guitar, or noticed the soundtrack on a film or heard a theme tune on TV?

doubleshotespresso Sat 19-Jul-14 20:25:46

music just for me is something you listen to on the radio and not have to pay to engage with


OP do you have no soul? Have you never paid to attend a concert? Your posts astound me....

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:26:23

'Music just for me is something you listen to on the radio and not have to pay to engage with.'

I'm weeping for you.

You remind me of Mr Gradgrind from Hard Times.

'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.'

KatyMac Sat 19-Jul-14 20:28:11

OK so it's singing & dancing not just music but DD is going to study Musical theatre

When she has finished she could be a performer or a teacher, she can create or produce

Her great grandmother died at 91 with her piano in her room playing the day before she went into a coma - she didn't learn until she was in her 50s. There wasn't time for Music or sport in her childhood.

DD also sails, does gymnastics, swam miles, cycles, does athletics and runs - why is it either/or surely both is essential or at least the possibility of both

SecretNutellaFix Sat 19-Jul-14 20:28:33

Do you never find yourself moved by music? Do you never watch a film that is heightened by an incredible piece of incidental music?

Take some time out and actually listen to music. Sometimes just having it on in the background often means you tune it out.

UptheChimney Sat 19-Jul-14 20:28:45

playing sport is more important for development and making friends

Completely unreasonable and ignorant, if you're thinking of competitive team sport scarred from years of netball

Music gives your DS a life long skill which will give him extraordinary powers of concentration, and popularity at parties, whether he's able to strum a song on a guitar or pick out a tune on the piano. He will get girls (or boys) with doing that, if he wanted to!

Sport will lead to injuries, a sense of failure if he's not good at it, and if he is good at it, an overweaning macho masculinity.

But then my DS had a great time playing in an accordion orchestra when we lived for a bit in Europe.

Or he could do both?

eunuchlady2 Sat 19-Jul-14 20:29:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Deliaskis Sat 19-Jul-14 20:29:36

Another one aghast that anyone really thinks this way about music. I spent time at school playing team sports and music, and eventually the music won out, a it can be hard to properly commit to both, with training/rehearsals on the same days etc. I travelled to half a dozen countries with school and youth orchestras, including the first 'east meets west' massed European youth music festival after the iron curtain fell. That was pretty enriching.

As an adult in my circle of say around 50 friends/acquaintances, I probably know 20-30 who play something or sing, and less than 10 who do any kind of sport apart from running/cycling etc to stay fit (mostly alone). I don't know anybody who plays team sports as an adult.

UptheChimney Sat 19-Jul-14 20:29:57

Music just for me is something you listen to on the radio and not have to pay to engage with

The philistines are abroad. Really, sometimes I think people should have to pass a licensing test before they conceive.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:30:19

We should probably ditch both music and sport really. And history and literature. Make them do maths and science and nothing else. After all, we have to compete with the economies in the far east sad

FavaBeanPyramidScheme Sat 19-Jul-14 20:30:29

Haha! I've been thinking about this too. I did extra curricular music activities in school but plan to encourage DC to do sports instead. It's so much more of a useful life skill to enjoy physical activity. Most people won't continue to play instruments.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:32:34

Eunuchlady is insulting us, I think, its just that it was unreadable. It's so much more fun to be insulted more eloquently, I find.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 19-Jul-14 20:32:34

As a recent thread has shown, school sports puts many people off sport for life, Fava.

I don't know anyone who has been put off music either listening or playing from lessons in school

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:33:05

Encourage them to do the one they're most passionate about Fava, or here's a thought, maybe they'll be musical and sporty. Shocking!

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:33:19

My kids did both in school. Eldest son is 20 and messes around in various band and has mates over to jam, plays 5 a side football and is in a cycle team.

My girls are more into drama nowadays, which I think also gives you that team player, social element. Not really into sport but run and go to the gym to exercise. Still mess around with the piano and other stuff in the house though.

DH has phases on the piano too.

I dunno, weird question, it's all part of life isn't it? Most people I know play something or sing or do something energetic.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:33:34

Sorry crystal skull not trying to wind you up I just didn't think that you could really build on anything from music stuff in a school. I know you're not guaranteed to be a football player from playing footie at school but it gives you fitness, team skills etc.

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:34:53

'It's so much more of a useful life skill to enjoy physical activity.'

It's more 'useful' to enjoy a physical activity than to enjoy music? That doesn't even make any sense.

MamaMary Sat 19-Jul-14 20:35:33

OP, you're just repeating yourself and not listening or engaging with the points made.

You are being ridiculous.

This has to be a wind-up.

beatricequimby Sat 19-Jul-14 20:38:06

Nice one Motherinferior. All the comps I know have loads of music too.

Fava - why not let your kids do what they enjoy? Does it have to be about 'lifeskills'?

Music doesn't have to be incredibly expensive. Instruments can be hired, lessons and residentials are in my area are free for families on certain benefits.

ilovesooty Sat 19-Jul-14 20:38:08

He's only two but I'm stressing about good schools (we're in London) and have to worry about local admission criteria and then extra curricular activities and sport and music and all that money to pay out. Music just for me is something you listen to on the radio and not have to pay to engage with

I'd be more worried about his having a Philistine for a mother.

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:38:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:39:13

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DiaDuit Sat 19-Jul-14 20:40:59

Xfactor as your basis for choosing your child's school shock

"I wonder What would get him through the audtion stage?" hmm

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:42:19

Not a wind up! Sorry if I've upset anyone didn't mean to, feels like I've missed out somewhere, my family was a 'sporty' focused one!

CrystalSkulls Sat 19-Jul-14 20:44:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Sat 19-Jul-14 20:47:26

<Shakes head in despair>

...and I LOVE sport, and all my dcs have / do partake in various sports.

Nobody can really be this ignorant though - it must be a wind up thread.

DiaDuit Sat 19-Jul-14 20:47:57

It is really sad IMO.

Music makes the world go round

UptheChimney Sat 19-Jul-14 20:48:47

I know you're not guaranteed to be a football player from playing footie at school but it gives you fitness, team skills etc

Let's look at this rationally. It takes around 10,000 repetitions to get something into your muscle memory. It's easier when you're young. For athletic arts -- yes both athletic and arts -- such as classical ballet, other forms of dance, and playing an instrument, the advantage of starting to learn young -- at about 8 or 9 is incalculable. It's because these require very fine, minute motor skills, using very tiny & precise muscular controls and a deep connection between muscles and brain.

Just ask anyone who's tried to learn an instrument or learn to dance as an adult.

Whereas "team sports"? Unless you've got a child showing the potential as an Olympic athlete, a lot of sports skills involve only the gross motor skills, and don't require the precision & delicacy of music or dance training. They can be learnt much more easily in later life. It's pretty easy to "learn" to jog and run a marathon at a much later age.

Ah well, if you're determined to be completely unreasonable and ignorant to boot, I suppose that's your loss. But the real sadness is, it's your DS's loss most of all.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:49:17

Music teaches you a huge amount about cooperation and team skills, if you're in a band/orchestra/choir. My admittedly warped experience of sport was it taught you to smile bravely as you were the one being picked last.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 20:49:48

Azqulith were you the sporty girl in my year at school who told me that she'd kill herself if she was as crap at sport as me and all she was good at was playing the piano? angry

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 20:50:02

OP encourage your boy to learn the guitar, it'll make him a big hit with the ladies when he hits his teens.

Timeisawastin Sat 19-Jul-14 20:53:06

My dd15 competes at national age-group level in her sport and sings in a national music organisation. She loves both and I feel it gives her life balance, health and amazing social opportunities. She will never be paid for doing her sport, but she might have opportunities with music in the future to build a career, if not then at least she will still get the massive buzz you get from performing even at amateur level.

She's actually spending 3 weeks on a fully-funded residential music project at the moment and loving it!

BikeRunSki Sat 19-Jul-14 20:53:32

DS is 5, just finished Reception.
Next year he'll have recorder lessons at school.
In Year 3 he'll have violin lessons at school, instrument provided and tuition paid by school for a year. He can carry on, in school time, at our expense beyond that.
Piano lessons in Year 4.
Local CoE primary

No, no music in school at all anymore.

LePetitPont Sat 19-Jul-14 20:55:25

Fully agree with squoosh, shortly about to have a boy and determined as well as following his father's (and grandfathers') cricketing footsteps, he gets to be a cool muso type too. They are not mutually exclusive!

Really sad that you are writing off one potential pathway of enjoyment, socialising, skill development etc at such a young age.

And it's not like 'team' music activities suddenly stop at the end of sixth form... Lots of adult orchestras / wind bands / music groups / choirs to join as well as five-a-side.

LePetitPont Sat 19-Jul-14 20:56:39

Ps and do you really not know one single person who plays the guitar (cheap instrument) or sings or does am dram? Really?!

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 20:57:15

BikeRunSki his school pay for instruments? And that's a state school?

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 20:58:01

All the Y3s at DD2's local primary can read music. Not brilliantly but OK. DD2 is in jazz band, brass band, rock band and choir. She's moving on to a secondary (comp) with a huge range of music. Another local comp is a music specialist school, and another one two have performing arts specialisms. I live in an unglamorous bit of south London....

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 21:00:32

Instrument hire is about £15 a term. Lessons do cost though are heavily subsidised.

pancakesfortea Sat 19-Jul-14 21:00:53

I was in a very good orchestra in my 20s with an Olympic rower.

Discipline, co-ordination, team work crucial to both. A famous conductor once described a symphony orchestra as the most complicated team sport ever invented.

pancakesfortea Sat 19-Jul-14 21:02:02

Every child at our London state primary learns an instrument. All completely free.

Timeisawastin Sat 19-Jul-14 21:02:58

Music lessons are available in schools here in Scotland too at £125 per school year for 30 min individual lesson.

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 21:03:23

our kids primary school were part of a county scheme of giving FREE music lessons to all Y3 pupils - once a week for the year with a peripatetic teacher - one year they did strings and one year wind - DD1 learned the violin, DD2 learned the clarinet. They both already played the piano. They have subsequently chosen their second instrument (neither the ones they had for free trial). I can clearly recall one mothers response to the free trial as "why do we have to take this home, she didn't ask to play it". No grasp at all of what a tremendous opportunity it was! Saying it sounded awful when the child had had ONE lesson - as if world class performers did not start at the same level! DDs secondary is a music specialist school and again EVERY child in Y7-9 learns an instrument! Even the headteacher is learning to play. Their school choir goes to international comps, they have a folk band and a jazz band and an orchestra and several "pop" groups. music is so life enhancing.

if you think music is very middle class, look at the mining villages and the colliery bands in the north of England. the whit Friday Brass Band contest in the villages around manchester. look at the welsh male voice choirs.

Oh and another thing. The audiences that go to watch orchestras do not in general get pissed and cause fights outside the venue. Nor do members of competing bands tend to bite the ears off other competitors! wink

FavaBeanPyramidScheme Sat 19-Jul-14 21:03:53

Sqoosh - You don't need to play an instrument to enjoy music though. I think sport is more enjoyable when you're good at it!

Beatrice and Squoosh - if they enjoy both though (and lord knows I wasn't passionate about anything in school!), why not choose the one that's more useful in the long run?

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 21:08:00

Fava your statement that sport is 'more useful in the long run' is based on what exactly??

I think parents should encourage their child's interests and not try to direct them as to the hobbies that the parents deem more 'useful'.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 21:08:10

It's true that you don't need to learn an instrument to enjoy listening to music. But then if everyone took that attitude no one would learn at all.

You may not mean it to sound this way but that attitude comes across a little bit as thinking that music is beneath you, and the little people can learn the music to keep the important, worthwhile people, ie the sportspeople, entertained.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Sat 19-Jul-14 21:10:42

Yeah music is a waste of time. Equestrianism is the way forward.

True fact

BikeRunSki Sat 19-Jul-14 21:12:00

Yes Azquilith

A few years ago the school was bequeathed 50 violins by a former govenor, who was also the vicar of the associated church (CoE school). That's enough for every child in year 3 and some left over for those who want to carry on. I don't know what happens if there are not enough for everyone who wants to carry on.

Cinnamoncookie Sat 19-Jul-14 21:12:03

I work in opera. I do what I do because of music, and I am surrounded by colleagues who do the same. I'm not a singer, but being able to play the piano and read music to a high standard means I'm very good at my job. I'm lousy at sport, but my job in music is physical and keeps me fit.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 21:12:24

Mothersuperior I am South London, sw11, are all London schools like that, our local didn't really say anything about music on it's website

han3459 Sat 19-Jul-14 21:12:59

YANBU, music is a waste of time in my opinion unless you carry it on and practice constantly. Most DCs give up in their teens (after years of hating it), where as sport tends to stick a lot more and is much more fun. Promotes health and fitness and is much better for children IMO smile

BikeRunSki Sat 19-Jul-14 21:14:02

As for rlthe comment about mining communities - absolutely! I live in a former pit village. Pits long since gone, but still plenty of brass bands.

squoosh Sat 19-Jul-14 21:14:05

'sport is much more fun'

Um, in your opinion dear.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 21:14:46

yes, because nobody ever gives up sport in their teens after years of hating it. ..

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 21:15:14

I have no idea if they're all like that. But given that they're all like that round here it seems a reasonable bet that many perfectly ordinary schools are offering music of some sort. Tbh I never worried about it, just assumed it would be on offer, like sport. What with them both being normal elements of a normal school's curriculum.

ExitPursuedByAKoalaBear Sat 19-Jul-14 21:15:23

OP. Let me introduce you to the saddleworth Whit Friday Brass Band contests. No camaraderie there I tell yer.

motherinferior Sat 19-Jul-14 21:16:23

School sport still makes me shudder in retrospect and I'm 51.

MamaMary Sat 19-Jul-14 21:16:40

My parents paid for me to have piano and violin lessons. Their money bought me something that will last my whole life long.

The joy, relaxation and fulfilment that playing and appreciating music have given me are all things that are priceless.

At school and university I disliked team sports but learned excellent team skills through participating in all kinds of music groups and orchestras.

Now, I don't know any adults who still play team sports, but I know plenty who continue to play musical instruments and/ or sing and derive continued fulfilment from that.

As regards keeping fit, it's easy as an adult to do that by walking, swimming, jogging.

YAB so U.

Timeisawastin Sat 19-Jul-14 21:16:59

Han3459, I think you'll find that one of the big problems with sport is that young people also tend to give it up in their teens, especially girls. Many of the sports are undertaken by young people, gymnastics for example, and there are limited opportunities to train and compete into adulthood.

Music is ageless :-)

morethanpotatoprints Sat 19-Jul-14 21:19:19

I think it depends on your personal preferences and of course the child.
We have 3 dc the two much older ds were into sport and not a bit interested in playing music even with all the encouragement and support any child could ask for. Our dd otoh hates sport and is a musician.

Also, some parents push their dc into music for enrichment and cv purposes or to gain places in certain schools, uni's etc, it's supposed to look good on a cv.

I guess it depends which camp you fall into and what your dc want to do.

YokoUhOh Sat 19-Jul-14 21:22:10

Secondary school music teacher here wobbles on high horse

I hear the sentence, 'we're a sporty family' a lot at parents' evenings. I always think, 'yes, so step out of your comfort zone and encourage your child, who enjoys music, to be musical'. I'm from a sporty family but my (gymnastics coach, zero musical background) mum recognised that I was musical and gave me every opportunity to develop my talent. I ended up studying Music at Oxford, and playing concertos with my county youth orchestra.

OP, my DS is a similar age to yours and I would never give him the option of 'either' sport or music - I'm really hoping he'll enjoy both.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 21:22:46

I'm musical, but I find it very easy to understand why music isn't for everyone, and I think it's fine that loads of people have no desire to learn an instrument.

But discussions like this always take me back to school days where not enjoying sport was considered 'wrong', 'lazy' and frankly morally dubious. And that if you had any self discipline you would just make yourself enjoy sport and be good at sport. Why are so many (not all, of course) sporty people so unforgiving of non sporty people?

MamaMary Sat 19-Jul-14 21:27:43

The emphasis on sport at school seems to be a British thing. I remember reading Enid Blyton's boarding school books and thinking, Oh, I would have hated to go to those schools - it's all about bloody sport! No mention of music or drama. And if you weren't sporty it would have been hell.

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 21:29:41

I was very sporty, never saw music as something I wanted to do. It always felt a bit them and us.

MamaMary Sat 19-Jul-14 21:31:19

Yes, and you're continuing with that theme of 'them and us'. hmm

Your thread title is simply bizarre. Sport more important than music??!

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 21:32:33

Yes but surely something that keeps you fit and healthy and can be done for free is more important! That was just my point but definitely being corrected

Oh dear lord. He is 2! My dd is 3 and she currently wants to be a mermaid. You have no idea what he will want to do in the future. It is best to let kids have a say. They are more likely to stick at a hobby if they genuinely like it not being pushed into it.
Both sports and music have benefits in terms of learning team work and discipline.
I loved p.e but wasn't particularly good at any of it.
I also enjoyed music and was quite good at it. Was in the national youth choir, travelled to many interesting places and made life-long friendships.
I've continued to sing and have friends in choirs from age 8-80. It really is ageless. Some are more musical than others but the enjoyment for all is the same. I find that music can calm my soul.

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 21:37:12

OP, certainly in my experience music is used from the word go in primary schools - as they file into assembly there is a different classical piece being played every week. some teachers play music while the kids are working, to keep a calm atmosphere. they make up their own dance sequences (yes right from being little) for their end of term shows. They write their own songs to help them learn facts (I know some great ear worm times tables songs!)They have huge boxes of percussion instruments and make up music to go with their topic on, for example, seaside or weather etc, they learn about the types/families of instruments. The Y1s I read with have been listening to Peter and the wolf this term and learning to recognise the different instrument sounds. All this is in a normal state primary school.

KatyMac Sat 19-Jul-14 21:40:12

"done for free" - oh dear

Most sport, done competitively or enthusiastically rather than for fun needs shed loads of kit & training........which cost a fortune, never mind the club fees

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 19-Jul-14 21:40:43

Lord no. Music is far more important.

DiaDuit Sat 19-Jul-14 21:44:52

Done for free?

What sport are you talking about? Running? You need trainers for running. Football? You need a football. Cycling? Need a bike.

treaclesoda Sat 19-Jul-14 21:46:55

barefoot running maybe? <channels Zola Budd>

Azquilith Sat 19-Jul-14 21:47:22

Kids at my local primary play football between the blocks of flats outside every evening. Loads of them. Just had another look at their website and they offer 50 mins of clarinet and 50 mins of flute a week. Presume lessons? Nothing about cost or instruments. Surely it must cost?

MollyBdenum Sat 19-Jul-14 21:48:04

Both are great. Pepper who do music can be in orchestras and choirs, they can form bands, they can busk to earn money.

I don't know any adults who play football or hockey or netball for fun. Lots do running or swimming or martial arts. Plenty also do musical stuff - they play in orchestras or just at home for fun, they sing in choirs, they play in bands...

I know two people who earn a living through sport. I know far more who have jobs in music.

PhaedraIsMyName Sat 19-Jul-14 21:48:27

'sport is much more fun'

Only if you enjoy it.

I hated it at school and find most sports completely boring and utterly pointless. I make an exception for the World Cup and some, but by no means all, bits of the Olympics.

Music is as vital to my well-being as books.

UptheChimney Sat 19-Jul-14 21:50:30

music is a waste of time in my opinion unless you carry it on and practice constantly. Most DCs give up in their teens (after years of hating it), where as sport tends to stick a lot more and is much more fun. Promotes health and fitness and is much better for children IMO

My experience was exactly opposite: I was raised partly in the US, where being good at sports is seen as important to create good citizens.


Team work? downright nature red in tooth and claw, more like. My injuries were inflicted by so-called team mates. Far more co-operation & working together to achieve something bigger than the sum of our separate parts in our school orchestra.

Ludways Sat 19-Jul-14 21:51:31

We're a massively sporty family, we do lots of sports between us and have some high achievements. Also also love music and ds plays guitar, dd wants to play drums which I'm looking into for her.

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 21:53:33

Nothing about cost or instruments. Surely it must cost?

have you not read any of the posts from myself and others about the many & various schemes for FREE music tuition in state primary schools?

at 50 minutes, that is certainly not individually paid for lessons they are talking about (which is usually either 20 or 30 minutes). You could only fit about 30 lessons into a school week if they were individual sessions of 50 mins! I would imagine they have a whole year group learning together for 50 minutes a week.

they probably also have visiting music teachers for any instrument your child wishes to learn. they come into schools but the parents pay for the lesson (and sometimes instrument hire)

phantomnamechanger Sat 19-Jul-14 21:56:08

in our primary school we have visiting brass, piano, wind and string teachers. lessons paid for by parents. the class teacher with responsibility for music runs a choir and a recorder group.

stillenacht1 Sat 19-Jul-14 21:58:28

A music teacher here.

We have 80 in our school orchestra.

Both are important but I hated the competitive element of sport (It's just a game?!) although enjoyed the competitive element of music.

Pilgit Sat 19-Jul-14 22:02:01

It used to really bug me at school that there was zero recognition for musicians whilst the sports loons were feted at every turn! But who was it they trotted out to impress dignitaries? It certainly wasn't the athletes.... so when it made the school look good we were there but NEVER got recognition or thanks for it. Playing in these kind of groups enables a person to make something beautiful with others - the whole really is greater than the parts. There is team spirit, camaraderie and life long friendships to be had. Not to mention a skill that has the ability to make people smile. Not that sport doesn't have those things - it does but yabu to say sport is more important.

stillenacht1 Sat 19-Jul-14 22:06:31

Pilgit I could have written that based on our end of year assembly yesterday... Hundreds of certificates for kids who hit a rounders ball once in a extra curricular match.. Our musicians? Well the school was dismissed from the hall while they were playing (last minute decision)hmm

Hiphopopotamus Sat 19-Jul-14 22:33:26

Oh good god. This is so depressing <joins the sobbing gin drinkers>

Sport is great. I love sport. But music...music speaks to your soul. It's a way of expressing feelings and idea without using words. It's incredibly academic to learn properly (reading music, music theory etc) but also provides fantastic social opportunities. No, it's not for everyone. But to dismiss it as 1950's... shock

(I realise I'm just repeating everything that has already been said. But seriously!)

LalaLeona Sat 19-Jul-14 22:35:00

Actually I have noticed a massive shift and emphasis towards sport in the last 20 years and it really irritates me. Sport is great yes, and some kids thrive on it, but it's not the be all and end all, and I do feel that more creative pastimes are being pushed to one side. IMHO It's all part of the boring middle class competitive corporate culture that prevails. Little Oscar must be good at rugger or how is he going to compete in business later in life..blah blah blah. Nice for some kids to be that way but there is pressure on all kids to be sporty so much more now. Give me a creative, interesting kid that appreciates art and music any day.

nickelbabe Sat 19-Jul-14 23:21:09

singing is free.
completely and utterly free.

in fact, if you join a church choir as a junior chorister, you even get paid for learning!
you don't have to buy music or robes or anything, just turn up and sing.

wgen I was in jounior school, I did gymnastics and revorder, guitar andchoir.
I haven't done gymnastics for years, but I bellydance now
i sing, play recorder.
I have learned violin, piano along the way too. I don't do them anymore, but I could if I could be bothered.
but I do sing.
and love it.
and because I learned to read music, I can pretty much sing anything, and I could probably pick up an instrument moreeasily because I read music.

dd is 2.5
she has an organist for a father and loves classical, choir and organ music.
she's also really active, as 2yos are.

oh, we're ridiculously working class and rather poor. dd will get every opportunity to learn music and most of it will be free at point of use.

music is the soul of life. it makes life worth living

BackforGood Sat 19-Jul-14 23:31:33

It's just so sad that anyone - let alone anyone whose child is just 2!!! - thinks that it needs to be a competition.
Why on earth wouldn't you introduce your child to both, as and when the opportunity arises ?

btw - you can buy a guitar for about the same cost as a pair of football boots, but you don't outgrow a guitar so quickly.

Iownathreeinchferrari Sun 20-Jul-14 00:50:16

I'd say both. Sports essential for physical health and mental health

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 20-Jul-14 00:56:59

Sport is not essential for physical health. I avoided it as much as possible at school. I did Latin and extra Higher Maths to create a timetable clash and haven't played any sport since I was 15. I'm extremely healthy, always have been.

ModreB Sun 20-Jul-14 01:08:30

DS does the following extra-curricular activities.

Big Band.

He learned to read music. Despite me being Music blind.

He said he gets the most out of Latin because, it helps him to read music.

gointothewoods Sun 20-Jul-14 01:11:19

I did both but was crap at sport, and just about carried myself through various sporting activities. Music was my thing and I excelled at that. Why on earth would you not give your child the opportunity to try a variety of activities?

Jux Sun 20-Jul-14 01:24:45

Active participation in musical activities enhances brain development. There will be many many more neuronal connections within the brains of musicians than non-musicians. Learning to read music, to play or sing in groups (chamber music, orchestras, bands etc) enhances language learning - both native and foreign.

The more connections in your brain, the better it functions.

It absolutely disgusts me that music in schools seems to be given so little weight. DD's primary had many many after school clubs. The only non-sport one was gardening. Music was not encouraged in her school; despite a bang upto date music suite with up to date tech, instruments, equipment etc, she wouldn't allow it to be used as it 'disturbed' other classes. Silly cow. We moved dd.

Oh, and regurgitating Abba is not music.

UptheChimney Sun 20-Jul-14 09:38:02

Active participation in musical activities enhances brain development. There will be many many more neuronal connections within the brains of musicians than non-musicians

^ This ^^

As to class ... interesting that upthread someone attributes desire for sporting prowess as a middle class thing. As someone from a very solid upper middle class background, I'd say it's the reverse. Yes, of course one is physically competent (we rode & sailed) but knowing one's way around a piano, or music more generally, was seen as far more important, as that was culture of the mind.

Maybe it's changed as we're "all middle-class now" according to a former PM grin

JaneParker Sun 20-Jul-14 09:48:16

Both. Three of our children won music scholarships and I am very musical as is their father and I love accompanying them at the piano at home. If that is old fashioned then fine... I also sing in choirs. It's been a huge life improving thing for me. However most of my children are very very sporty too. One won her school prize for sport in upper sixth and now plays a sport for England in her 20s. The youngest (a teenager) won the class sport prize last year but much more important those who do it love it. We cycle a lot as a family too and do a range of sports. We all ski too.

On the question posed - sport or music, I would say encourage them to do both. Music involves a lot of hard practice and it is very important to learn deferment and hard work as a child. There are far too many slackers around which of course makes it easier if you breed a child who is not a slacker for that child to get on.

I agree with the poster above that traditionally it was music which showed your middle classness - does your family have a piano was a defining characteristic of middle classness a few decades ago. I agree that many of our best athletes at the Olympics were from the 7% of children who go to fee paying schools so I certainly encourage women to pick careers which enable them to pay school fees if they want their children do to great music and sport but you can certainly find them out of school and in state schools.

My older children (20s) do find sport and music can bind them to interviewers and employers. Sadly classical music has become a bit of a more middle class thing these days so may be it gives them a slight edge although I think their accent (and of course much more important personality and abilities and exam results) helps them get on too. My daughter was in a netball team at work. Another daughter does triathlons and that seems to be something a lot of young people her age do so that again can bind you at work. For her current firm she was the only applicant not from Oxbridge on the day of assessments a few years ago (she went to Bristol University) and over lunch she was able to talk about riding - her main teenage activity was show jumping with a partner whose wife keeps their own horses at their farm. However I would not over emphasise that - I am sure had he been interested in stamps she could have talked about that too and it would be things like how high are your exam grades which trump most things.

Preciousbane Sun 20-Jul-14 10:05:20

I think all dc should be able to try as much stuff as possible.

DH due to wealthy family got to try just about everything. He ended up being a sports fanatic.

I did sing in a church choir as a child and can follow music but have never been formally taught. DS prefers sports , though he did learn recorder in primary school. I also loved sports. DH still played competitive team sports till he was mid thirties.

The last competitive team sport I played was a hockey match when I was 29. We lost mainly because the goalie was sent off for a foul, it still pains me that that was my last match.

I think its just down to what we are like as people, DH and DS are naturally competitive, I am as well but not to such an extent.

Scrabble is almost a blood sport in our house. So sport is the natural draw. I would be far too impatient to faff about learning an instrument. Musicians always strike me as more gentle folk.

Lweji Sun 20-Jul-14 10:10:07

Apparently music supports development of mathematical skills.

Sports are also good.

I don't think it should be one or the other. My nephews do both.
DS did both too, but he is not enthusiastic enough about an instrument.

isn't it all football at school and then trying to get on X Factor? Do kids still learn instruments?
Sorry, but just had to LOL at this.

Lweji Sun 20-Jul-14 10:13:52

Oh, there's lots of physical coordination in playing music, along with fine motor skills.

Sports are more to keep healthy, but competition sport is not particularly healthy. Practitioners often get injuries and their bodies are subjected to extreme pressure and conditions.

cardibach Sun 20-Jul-14 11:05:41

Sport more fun? Standing in the rain and wind on a hockey pitch while people you hate hit balls at your ankles? Where's the fun in that?

I have had some of the best laughs - no, actually I think all of the best laughs - of my life with fellow musicians, singers and actors while rehearsing something. I play flute and recorder and sing and have done all 3 on and off since I was a child. I'm 50 this year, so I didn't give up. I know loads of people who do music for fun and many who earn extra money doing so, but I know very few who play competitive sport as adults. Most do some physical activity such as running/walking/cycling though, including the musicians.

As a woodwind player/singer I have a well developed set of lungs - we did a test at work (secondary school) with a lung capacity measuring thingy and mine had the largest capacity - I even beat the PE teachers <proud> I also do Musical Theatre so have to be able to move (dance is probably a bit too strong a description...) so keep fit with that. Try doing a very active dance while singing a top C, OP, you'll see how fit you need to be!

DD plays flute and sings as well as enjoying team sport. She went to South Africa to play hockey with school and has competed with singing at a national level. She has performed in a world premiere of a classical work with a National Youth Choir (Karl Jenkins Songs of the Earth in Cardiff for interested musos). Both have given her great pleasure and many opportunities. She is far more likely to carry on with the music, though (try to stop her singing!)
I think music may be losing emphasis in schools because it can't be faked. There is no alternative to putting in the hours to learn the skill. Kids want quick result these days (it's the same reason that learning a foreign language has become less popular) and attitudes like the OPs don't help.

Pass that gin, will you? <sobs at what the world is coming to>

DogCalledRudis Sun 20-Jul-14 11:20:16

Depends on a child. Myself i had "a bear stepped on my ears". I took piano lessons as a child, but the teacher gave up on me as i could not hear what i played. My DS1 is the same. DS2 in contrast is very musical. He loves to sing.

stealthsquiggle Sun 20-Jul-14 11:30:57

Leaving aside the laughable OP, this is a discussion that DS finds himself in the middle of at school sometimes. According to the head of music, sport has been allowed to take priority too often. When the sports department organised fixtures which meant the DC would not be back in time for chapel, there was nearly a stand up row as to whether it was more important that they could field a complete cricket team or a complete choir grin (DS was the overlap in that particular Venn diagram, although there was a similar one about girls sports with more overlap). The head of music fights his corner, and rightly so - the headmaster had to settle that one on the end.

SunshineQuack Sun 20-Jul-14 11:39:48

I think both can be the start of a whole lifetime passion for a child. Or neither could be.

I'd say give DC the chance to try out both music and sport and support them with whatever they want. DH played in bands (he played bass from his teens onwards) and also played rugby (and still does). I hated team sports and as as musical as a brick but made friends through drama societies, through art class, through old fashioned hanging around and chatting. Just help your DC find their passion and they will be OK.

ForalltheSaints Sun 20-Jul-14 11:41:56

As long as music does not become an excuse for missing sport (some children at my school used it as they hated team sports) then there should be room for both. You can be playing a musical instrument into your 70s and still enjoy it, as my mum does.

YABU! I played hockey in school and enjoyed PE, but I also learned to sing, play guitar, ukulele and keyboard, sang in the choir, played in the county orchestra in music. Why can't someone do both?

I used to use music lessons and choir as an excuse to miss Science, not PE grin

JustAShopGirl Sun 20-Jul-14 11:50:45

I agree with ForalltheSaints there should be room for both - and my dd (piano player and taking up guitar) is one of those who will always use music as an excuse to miss sport -

though now we realise she was using "I've got a piano exam coming up can I practise" instead of doing PE at school, she does come swimming/badminton/table tennis with us some evenings as we feel her physical fitness is just as important to her future health and wellbeing as her music.

Madcatgirl Sun 20-Jul-14 11:54:57

You are being unreasonable. Massively.

Ds1 is very musical, sports not so much though. He tries, but it's no fun being the left out kid. I feel for your son OP, what if he wants to be a flautist? Is that going to disappoint you that he won't be a premiership footballer? hmm

HouseBaelish Sun 20-Jul-14 11:56:45

*Oh good god. This is so depressing <joins the sobbing gin drinkers>

Sport is great. I love sport. But music...music speaks to your soul. It's a way of expressing feelings and idea without using words. It's incredibly academic to learn properly (reading music, music theory etc) but also provides fantastic social opportunities. No, it's not for everyone. But to dismiss it as 1950's...*

Just this. Is it to early for me to start sobbing into gin?

CrystalSkulls Sun 20-Jul-14 12:03:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jinsei Sun 20-Jul-14 12:12:19

What a bizarre thread! confused

YABVU - but hopefully you know that now!

Lweji Sun 20-Jul-14 12:16:06

As long as music does not become an excuse for missing sport

Why not?
Why does sport have to have a role in our/their lives?

Physical activity is one thing. Sport is another.

JaneParker Sun 20-Jul-14 12:18:00

cardi in part says what I said above - that fewer learning instruments might just be about children being lazy and wanting the easy option, the no learning by heart, the source materials wheezes, the avoiding foreign languages as it involves hours of sitting there alone learning the words. You cannot fake playing a grade 8 music piece - you have to work hard at it. I think it is very good for children to do things which involve a lot of work. It ensures good habits for life and they can see if you put in the hard work now you reap rewards later - a lesson most of us should learn.

Same with sport - if you want to be good you have to train and work hard.

queenofthemountain Sun 20-Jul-14 12:18:31

Orchestras are a great way to make friends in a new town, and they don't have a 'Season'

NotBatman Sun 20-Jul-14 12:31:24

I played Alto Sax in high school. Trust me, band is a good place to make friends.

FeministStar Sun 20-Jul-14 12:38:21

Sport is more important than music.
Music is more important than sport.
Both are right - it depends on your personal interests.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jul-14 12:39:46

OP, been thinking about this a bit more.

The way I see it, our responsibility as parents is to give our children an experience (however brief or fleeting) of as many things as possible so that they can find 'their thing'.

I didn't know that the 45 minutes of toddkler music would eventually lead to serious music-makeing and performance at jazz festivals. Nor did I know that skipping round the village hall pretending to be a fairy would lead DD into a full-blown 10-13 hours a week dancing obsession. I didn't know that football would go from a kick around in the local park, to the local professional club academy, back down to a weekly training session and game with a recreational side.

But nor did I know that swimming and rugby would fall by the wayside, that Scouting / Guiding would both be finished with by the age of 11, that DD's music wiould always take a back seat to her dance and that to date her art has tajken her nowhere, and that neither of them choose to sing. My 'job' - to expose them to different opportunities - has been done.

BackforGood Sun 20-Jul-14 12:51:51

Excellent post by teacherwith2kids

I find it quite sad when parents of little ones plan out the leisure time of their dc when they are so little - it's so limiting!
My advice is to expose them to as much as you are able, encourage a 'give it a go' attitude (which, as we live as an adult for FAR longer than we live as a child - is a massively important thing IMO), and see what they are most interested in / where their skills lie.

TBH I don't think, as a parent, you end up with much choice about the route that children follow in this respect. I got DS playing the piano at 6. He took up the cornet at 8...at the same time he discovered rugby. A few months later he was asked to take part in a competitive swimming assessment.

Music has fallen by the wayside, swimming is now our life. Rugby may provide light relief come the winter. He has kept up the cornet but only with prodding.

Jinsei Sun 20-Jul-14 13:00:19

Yes teacher, so true that we don't know where our children's interests may lie. I have a child with a dancing obsession too - something that I wouldn't ever have anticipated, but it has pushed aside most of the other activities that I had lined up for dd! grin

By the by, does dancing count as sport or music? Or is it both? wink

HopefulHamster Sun 20-Jul-14 13:04:29

The whole concept of this thread seems to be 'I like sport more than music, so surely sport means more than music to everyone?' Weird.

I HATED sports at school but don't doubt its positives. I did lots of music for free - singing, recorder, violin - was never very good but I still adore listening to music even if my tastes are a bit naff :D

Don't assume what your child will like or be good at!

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jul-14 13:09:36

I am utterly non sporting (childhood asthmatic) and, when training as a teacher, had to be given special essons on 'how to teach dance when you yourself cannot demonstrate'. DH is unmusical to an extreme. We both, deliberately, set ut to expose our children to things we do not do / were not given the chance to do ourselves.

KatyMac Sun 20-Jul-14 13:24:38

Jinsei - dancing is it sport or music? Umm both?

DD hasn't had a PE/Games lesson in about 3yrs but has better stamina & strength than a lot of the teenage athletes locally

FeministStar Sun 20-Jul-14 14:54:44

teacherwith2kids that's a shame that you couldn't participate in sport.

needaholidaynow Sun 20-Jul-14 14:57:56

Depends on what the child wants to do I suppose.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jul-14 14:58:42

Feminist - by the time I weas in seciondary, my asthma was largely under control, so I participated in all sport while I was there. However, the skills that others pick up in early childhood - in particular running action - was something I always struggled with and this was a problem in most sports!

I am a reasonably fit adult - fitter than many of my school friends - through cycling, swimming and hill walking: school PE is definitely not a 'gateway' to much adult fitness.

CluelessCrapParent Sun 20-Jul-14 15:03:41

Dd does both, plays piano, guitar and sings in the choir. She was picked for the football and athletics team, as well as for the annual residential inter schools games competition. The only issue is trying to fit it all in.

FeministStar Sun 20-Jul-14 15:23:47

teacher, I reckon my eldest gets more benefit from a daily 2 mile walk than school sports lessons. My youngest (who is asthmatic) does around 4 hours a week of organised sport so is fairly fit thank goodness.

JaneParker Sun 20-Jul-14 21:13:14

Fitting in is an issue. My teenagers have a music scholarship to their school and in lots of orchestras, bands etc. One is also pretty good at sport and there will often be an away match when there is a concert rehearsal and he has to decide that week which is more important - way up how close they are to the concert, if he's doing a solo, how much the sports team needs him etc. Actually now I think about it that is a useful dilemma as all through our lives we have conflicting demands and have to judge what is important not to miss and what can be missed.

I certainly agree with the posters above saying expose children to lots of interesting hobbies - music, sport or whatever and they will pick what they like. When they were 5 I never imagined my daughters would spend literally 20 hours every weekend at riding stables and show jumping (as they did loads of music at home) yet that then happened - they had exposure to riding from a holiday club at their school and that was that. So just show them lots of things even if they are things you don't do and they can pick what suits them as they get older. Plenty of children enjoy their own company and like to be alone not doing anything and I see nothing wrong with that either.

LadyRabbit Sun 20-Jul-14 21:26:45

Gosh. When I was growing up, the general consensus was that the really sporty kids were a bit thick and the orchestra and choir lot were the brain boxes. Occasionally there was an overlap (rugby mad violinists ?!) but they were rare.

Clearly times have changed if sport is seen to trump music.

I'm partial to both and will make sure my DS partakes eqy as he develops.

HercShipwright Sun 20-Jul-14 21:31:49


HercShipwright Sun 20-Jul-14 21:34:25

OP perhaps if you let your DS learn an instrument he will have a better circle of friends than you do?

PicardyThird Sun 20-Jul-14 22:03:03

It's important to us that our dc do one sporting and one musical activity (any more as they like, obviously), to give them a well-rounded range of experiences. Dc1 currently does tae kwondo and is learning the piano and trumpet, dc2 plays piano and both will be starting fencing after the holidays. Dc1 may choose to drop tae kwondo then but that is OK as he will still be doing one sport.

PicardyThird Sun 20-Jul-14 22:06:12

(I play piano and sing but am not sporty although I do a gymnastics/yoga class when I can, dh was very sporty when he was young and taught himself percussion. We met when we were in a band together. It's more natural to me to encourage the dc in music and for dh to push sports, so I suppose what parents are or were into will always have an influence. But I think we both feel part of our role is to give them as wide an experience as possible, in all sorts of ways)

UptheChimney Sun 20-Jul-14 22:35:45

I'm never sure why "health and fitness" are equated with team sports. IME, team sports had bugger all to do with health/fitness, and far more to do with bullying, coercion into "fitting in" and a kind of flocking. I only discovered I could be quite athletic with the aerobics craze of the 1980s.

And yes, in my world the sporty types tended to be a bit thick.

sykadelic Mon 21-Jul-14 00:11:20

I logged in to reply to this actually.

I played badminton and swim, my sister played hockey and we BOTH play instruments. I have a clarinet and saxophone (the trombone was on loan - free - from band). My sister has a trumpet and a french horn and loans a tenor horn from band (she used to loan a woodwind instrument as well).

We've traveled the country for camps and competitions (marching competitions as well as music). My sister went to China.

My husband plays guitar and drums (owns a drum set and several guitars), one of his friends plays guitar (also owns several).

As someone else said above, I have excellent lung capacity, stamina and posture, because of band. Not to mention attention span, focus and self control.

The benefits of music have been well established. Just type "benefits of learning music" into a search engine and you will see.

That's not to say sport isn't good either, but you know all the benefits of that so there's no point in spelling that out.

I would definitely encourage learning a musical instrument as well as playing sport. Some of my most favourite memories from school are my music lessons and "jamming" with my teacher and singing in choir (and winning competitions of course :D)

MexicanSpringtime Mon 21-Jul-14 02:37:58

Only read the start of the thread, but first of all, why should music and sport be mutually exclusive and secondly, do your child's own preferences not get a look in?

Azquilith Mon 21-Jul-14 19:38:05

This is really interesting. I think I might have been a bit blinkered, I certainly don't want to stop my son doing anything he might want to, I suppose I just always felt that sport was a bit easier to get involved in and there were financial constraints around music - sounds like I was wrong if there is lots of school provision out there. Do schools tend to be either sporty or arts focused (my school was a sports college) or is it more mixed now?

drudgetrudy Mon 21-Jul-14 19:44:22

Neither is more important. Your job as a parent is to spot your individual child's talents and encourage them.
I'm rubbish at both!

OneDreamOnly Mon 21-Jul-14 19:53:55

Neither is more important. Your job as a parent is to spot your individual child's talents and encourage them.

^^ That.

Also a lot of parents will see music as a way to learn a lot of skills including the ability to stay focus and work hard for a long time before getting results.
I gently pushed my dcs towards football as a way to fit in which worked but that's what it is. Not a sport as such. Just an activity that helps them fitting in (various reasons there, one is a geek type, the other has social difficulties).

Then yes of course, promote sports as way to stay healthy but spot what is making them 'click' (Note this isn't at no cost at all though. ds1 is swimming and the swimming club, training 3 times a week, galas... all that has a cost!). And promote music, all type of music and maybe you will also have a child who actually likes and enjoys music (much cheaper when done at school ime than all the sports/after school stuff they do)

KittiesInsane Mon 21-Jul-14 20:15:10

It does depend on the school (are we talking primary or secondary here, by the way?).

Our primary has free recorder and keyboard lessons and is starting up a ukulele club. Cost of recorder about £5, cost of beginner-level ukulele about £15, but they can be borrowed free. Choir is free and fab.

Local secondaries vary a lot.
At one local comp, music is pretty much the abode of the better-off. Probably around 50 to 80 kids in the school actively join the choir or orchestra.
At the other one, in a slightly tattier area, about 300-400 take part. You pay for any individual music lessons but the (four!) choirs, jazz band, steel band, guitar club, samba band etc are free. Musical theatre (I know, I know!) is £2.50 a week.

almondcakes Mon 21-Jul-14 21:09:46

This is a strange thread. Surely, music plays a far larger part in the lives of almost everyone than sport?

I've never been to a funeral and had the coffin brought in while the mourners played a game of tennis around it.

Or attended a wedding where the bride came in and did a bit of trampoling down the aisle.

At every major sporting event people sing. At music events people don"t precede it with a game of tennis.

In adult life, I don't know anyone on a competitive sports team. I know lots of adults who swim, cycle, hill walk and dance. And pretty much everyone has to dance socially, at least at weddings. We should concentrate on those at school, not sport.

JaneParker Tue 22-Jul-14 07:24:04

Interesting. Is that why the nation is fat and ill then as people are thinking music plays a bigger part? At that funeral you are using your legs or walking sticks to walk in and someone strong is carrying the coffin - sport surely plays its part there as it were. Sadly so few people sing these days that my children's father (organist) recommends hiring a professional singer at many weddings as otherwise the pathetic attenders sit there not singing at all and he becomes an organ solo. I would say do both - sport and music.

I know loads of people on competitive sports teams even in their 30s and 40s. I accept parents with children have less time and may give it up for a period but certainly amongst people I know they play. A neighbour in her 60s is still in a net ball team! My daughter 20s is in a netball team and plays another sport of England. I do something active most days although not a team sport. I sing every day too.

Lweji Tue 22-Jul-14 07:35:46

But there it is people equating physical activity and health with sports. Particularly team sports.

You don't have to do sports to be healthy or physically active. You can walk a lot, take stairs instead of escalators or lifts, cycle to places, do housework, gardening, grow veg, dance, you can actively play with your children or your dogs or your friends.

In fact, most people I know who do or have done sports, particularly team sports, have some sort of injury and damage to joints, muscles or tendons.

Living healthily means having an active lifestyle, not necessarily to do sports. And in fact it may be healthier not to actually "do sports", at least not to a competitive level.

CrystalSkulls Tue 22-Jul-14 10:00:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittiesInsane Tue 22-Jul-14 10:05:02

DS plays tuba. Physical and musical workout in one vast package. Job done.

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