After one year of intense study, the average student should be quite
capable of picking up a new language or learning to play a new instrument.
After two or three years they would be highly capable. There need be almost
no emphasis on exams. If you speak French, then you speak French. If you
play piano and someone wants to know if you play, then, you just play for
them - and impress them!
A certificate would simply state 'Piano: 1 year of sustained study'. The
level achieved is up to the student. With little emphasis on testing the
student is less stressed and free to learn. Of course, they would be
expected to 'perform'. The number of hours would also be indicated.
Why music in particular? There are two extremes of music student. The
first type learns to read music and follows exactly what it to be done. The
second is more artistic and would rather discover music through trial and
error. The two seldom meet. Both, however, practise playing their
instruments for long periods of time. Both learn various complicated
sequences that they commit to learning. A high degree of rote learning is
expected: taught/self-taught. Focus, concentration, and perseverance to
achieve perfection are intrinsically learned. Making even a single mistake
can ruin a piece and the student automatically strives for 100% excellence
without being told. This has natural carry-over consequences to other areas
of study/life. Thus, the study of music can be a powerful stimulant to the
developing mind. During this process the student will put in 90+% of the
work. The teacher will just be the facilitator.
Any skill worth having is hard to get, and whatever that skill may be,
the process of acquiring it will develop the mind. With real skills, it is
the student that must self-teach, and this is what they must be able to do
to be successful in the 21st Century.
Other areas of cultural focus
Art / Graphics / Design
30 mins of running daily for all students
60 mins of running for sports students.