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Beer Tent The general discussion forum, and the place to start a new "beer-tent-like" Piping Related discussion...

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Old 12-02-2018, 06:40 PM   #1
CalumII
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Default On competition - is music a sport

I read this a few days ago, and the discussion in the thread about the EUSPBA made me think it might be interesting for some people here.



https://walterbitner.com/2017/03/31/is-music-a-sport/
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:17 PM   #2
Green Piper
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Default Re: On competition

Interesting read. In the US, I suspect that the drive for school musicians to compete is due (maybe in part) to the imbalance between sports and arts.

When funding gets tight, the first programs under threat are the music programs. Sports, somehow seems to avoid these threats. In fact, look at all or most high schools in the US and the infrastructure and expense given over sports such as football far outweigh those to the arts.

Studies continually show the connection between learning and performing music with higher academic scores. I doubt the same can be truly said for sports. Unfortunately due to funding issues, it seems that music programs feel they have to try to emulate the competitive atmosphere in sports.

However, competition can be a useful driver to improvement. I view myself as proof of this. Solo competition has encouraged me to listen critically, work on technique and musicality beyond what I may have achieved without the drive to elevate myself in the competition circle.

Sorry, if it seems that I am sitting on the fence on this issue. However, I feel that the issues at play are fairly complex.

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Old 12-03-2018, 03:53 PM   #3
John Blunt
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

In a word: no. I cannot view competitions (I'll use those I've experienced in junior high and high school here in the US) as sports. They are artistic, very hard-fought in their application and great sources of personal and group satisfaction. However, until there is a way to make the result objective (there go judges!), it will remain a competitive endeavor, not a sport. I currently take part in competitions at Highland Games and wouldn't consider these to be sports, either. You can list any one of a number of factors: judges, no standard on who plays what (within grades and events--don't even get me started on piobaireachd!), rules on Highland dress, and personal taste/prejudice.

As far as sports being chosen over fine arts in our (US) schools, 'twas ever thus. With the head start that sports have as a source of pride and revenue, fine arts always seem to be poor cousins. What people are willing to fanatically support and pour their civic aspirations into, will get the lion's share of funds, regardless of relative merit and worth.

These are my opinions. I will use as my bona fides: member of bands and orchestras in junior and high schools, member of regional select orchestra, marching band, interscholastic and intercollegiate athlete and a late in life bagpiper and competitor.


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Old 12-04-2018, 05:14 AM   #4
mcaskill
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

Not according to the definitions of our departments of sport and recreation when looking at grants. But because we compete we are also not the arts!
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:34 PM   #5
Alex Anderson
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaskill View Post
Not according to the definitions of our departments of sport and recreation when looking at grants. But because we compete we are also not the arts!
So I suppose this competition is sporting and not in the arts.
https://www.cliburn.org/

Maybe if they carried their pianos out onto a field it would then be a sport!
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

In the US High Schools football gets the lion's share of support and funding.

The Music Department gets support and funding mainly to supply a show that enhances the football games.

If only the Art Department could figure out some way to do something indispensable at football games! Then they would get a piece of the pie.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:18 PM   #7
Jim Fogelman
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

Quote:
Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
In the US High Schools football gets the lion's share of support and funding.

The Music Department gets support and funding mainly to supply a show that enhances the football games.

If only the Art Department could figure out some way to do something indispensable at football games! Then they would get a piece of the pie.
Being a music teacher at a US public high school I have to somewhat disagree, at least in my position. Music gets no funding at all. Everything and anything I need is either fundraised for or comes out of my own pocket.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

It may be time to have students start using their brains and STOP bashing them in.

Except in Texas, where such a statement would get me hounded out of that state. ;-)


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Old 12-10-2018, 11:54 AM   #9
Dan Bell
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

I'll be the one to go out on a limb: I DO believe that many highland pipers, pipe bands and instructors ARE too focused on competition.

I have nothing against competition in and of itself. However, it should NOT take priority over sound basic instruction. Far too many people are rushed into a competition circle before they are ready, and far too many people spend way too much time working on way too few tunes, in order to be "prepared" to compete. Winning a prize in a low-level competition is much less important, in the long run, than learning to play with sound technique, becoming a proficient reader, ear training, and mastering a comprehensive repertoire.

This isn't an inherent flaw in the competition system; it's a criticism of how many teach piping.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:33 PM   #10
Chris C.
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Default Re: On competition - is music a sport

Competition turns anything into a type of sport.

As for piping, the competition angle is invigorating in a way -- as it makes you want to improve, and adds a bit of zest to Highland Games. Without competitions there would probably be no Highland Games.

But at the same time, it's what got me out of piping (that, and a family issue). There was an attitude about the competition from the band angle that I just didn't agree with. Piping wasn't fun anymore. Let the pipes sit in the box for a few years = problem solved.
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