Are you of a certain age and do you remember growing up in a much better country than we now inhabit?
Do you remember going to school and coming home to a parent who would ask you how your day had been and not being picked up from an 'after-school club' at 6pm?
Do you remember a time when it was economically sufficient for just one parent to work in order to manage the household budget?
Do you remember a time when school was for firing imaginations and developing the art of the possible rather than an incessant, never-ending scheme of recording attainment, levels and hierarchy through continual examinations and assessments?
Thatcherism was a main driver for this change. A woman whose son was one of the most dubious characters of modern times, a cabinet full of pedophiles and crooks, this was the leader who was reviled by many of the older members of her own party and large swathes of the country in general. Yet, the state funeral in 2013 that she must have negotiated at the time of her 'abdication', shows just how far the country has descended from the halcyon days of my youth.
I would argue that most people living in the UK are nothing more than modern day slaves. No longer are they slaves to the whims of the aristocracy, but are slaves to the masters of commerce. Slaves to the mortgage company, to the leasing company, to the credit card company, to the loan company. All this money conjured up out of thin air to provide a platform of control. It's hard to do what's right in life if your actions could result in unemployment, homelessness and destitution.
If you know nothing about Oliver Cromwell, or nothing about The East India Company, or the Co-Operative Movement or the Trades Union Movement, why is that? Why do people know who's just gone into The Big Brother house or won X-Factor but they don't know why cannabis is illegal or the health risks associated with Western Health practices.
The simple answer is money. It may seem ironic that I should be attempting to raise money through crowd-funding to address the problem of money, but the real problem isn't money itself. Money isn't the root of the problem. The love of money, is. For the love money, often involves practices that are counter humane. They inhibit social justice, goodwill and spiritual growth. Put simply, money by itself, never made anyone truly happy.
Music on the other hand makes lots of people happy. It makes them happy even when they're sad or at their lowest ebb. I think it does this at its most basic level, by the sense of vibration acting upon the human skeleton. There are of course many other physiological, psychological and spiritual happenings occurring when we listen to and perform music, but at its heart, it provides sustenance to human beings in a way that most other art forms cannot.
Through this sustenance, I would argue comes a greater understanding of who each of us are as individuals and collectively where we belong in the world. It was no accident that music education was decimated during the Thatcher era. If music has this ability to develop the individual, to continually strive to be a more complete person, then this emancipation first expressed over two hundred years ago within the ideals of Romanticism is clearly something that the current powers that be would like to suppress.
Coupled with this idea is that when musicians play together, there is a heightened sense of empathy between the participants. No longer the lone individual with a relatively weak voice, now a voice of hundreds all singing off the same hymn sheet with a power to change lives. I would argue that this power though comes not just from singing your heart out at an Ed Sheeran extravaganza, however uplifting that may be. It comes from starting at a point where something seems totally insurmountable and impossible, to coming off stage feeling like you're descending Mount Everest. The knock-on effect of all this is that simple understanding that,
'If I could manage that, what else could I achieve?'
That is the reason why music is no longer valued in education. It is too powerful a beast to contain. Too wonderful, too beautiful, much too dangerous.
So, by contributing to this crowd-funding, you will enable music to fight back. To fight back against the crooked politicians and crooked bankers, to give people a simple choice and a voice.