In which I worry about Vogons

From Douglas Adams “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”:

“People of Earth, your attention please,” a voice said, and it was wonderful. Wonderful perfect quadrophonic sound with distortion levels so low as to make a brave man weep.

“This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council,” the voice continued. “As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system, and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less that two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.”

The PA died away.

Uncomprehending terror settled on the watching people of Earth. The terror moved slowly through the gathered crowds as if they were iron fillings on a sheet of board and a magnet was moving beneath them. Panic sprouted again, desperate fleeing panic, but there was nowhere to flee to.

Observing this, the Vogons turned on their PA again. It said:

“There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.”

I have been wondering recently whether we are seeing the beginning of the end of music education as we know it. Have we all been far too busy worrying about assessment, KS3, new GCSEs, new A levels, break duty, learning walks, book trawls, ‘verbal feedback given’ stamps, to notice that music education is being demolished for the hyperspatial express route which is the EBacc and STEM?

“But it can’t” we say, “we’re far too busy to be got rid of”. And there’s our problem. We are far too busy, and we all have the best interests of the kids at heart. This means that a government who seem to have lately arrived from Philistia (or Vogon!) will have no qualms about demolishing music education.

It’s in the way.

After all, we don’t want subjects that can’t be taught from a script, might involve children and young people thinking for themselves, and may have the potential for making the teensiest bit of noise that might disturb the silence.

I suggest we should be on the lookout for Vogons. They might be nearer than we think.

About drfautley

Professor Education at Birmingham City University, UK.
This entry was posted in Music Education. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to In which I worry about Vogons

  1. Dan Guerrard says:

    The Guide’s front page says “Don’t Panic!’ I think you are panicking Dr. Fautley. There is little chance a government will take music off the curriculum; Conservative voters are very much in favour of music for a start and the Vogons will not want to fight their own species. However, I would not be surprised if they change it substantially and possibly go down the North American route of teaching “band” in years to come.

  2. Pingback: In which I worry about Vogons | CSPACE BCU

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