Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Ludovico Technique in Action

From Weaponizing Mozart
In January it was revealed that West Park School, in Derby in the midlands of England, was “subjecting” (its words) badly behaved children to Mozart and others. In “special detentions,” the children are forced to endure two hours of classical music both as a relaxant (the headmaster claims it calms them down) and as a deterrent against future bad behavior (apparently the number of disruptive pupils has fallen by 60 per cent since the detentions were introduced.)

One news report says some of the children who have endured this Mozart authoritarianism now find classical music unbearable. As one critical commentator said, they will probably “go into adulthood associating great music—the most bewitchingly lovely sounds on Earth—with a punitive slap on the chops.” This is what passes for education in Britain today: teaching kids to think “Danger!” whenever they hear Mozart’s Requiem or some other piece of musical genius.

The classical music detentions at West Park School are only the latest experiment in using and abusing some of humanity’s greatest cultural achievements to reprimand youth.
This really crosses the line for me. I saw A Clockwork Orange only once, and even though it was 30 years ago, it still terrifies me more than any memory of any movie. There are many ways that exposure to Mozart (and others) can improve the lives of young people, but this is not one of them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fools who tried this themselves have to think that to listen to classical music is some form punishment. The best punishment would have been absolute silence, but that probably would have brought out cries of torture. This kind of thinking supposedly costs a great deal, which is why schools are cutting arts but saving multiple administrators hefty salaries: for their deep thinking. Culture dies or perhaps is dead among these people, but it's just as well politically. After all, remember "music by dead white men?" That meant Mozart was a racist anyway.