UB opens Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013


THE wealth of the Cordillera culture and the richness of its music now has a home at the University of Baguio with the opening of the Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree last March 11. Not only will Cordillera music be accessible but all other theories and history of music to all who will study it as a degree or as a diploma or certificate.

National Center for Culture and Arts chairman Felipe de Leon said this development will enable Cordillera to be an Institute of Living Traditions where people can listen and view the different cultural variations in the geo-linguistic groups of the highlands. He added the seven arts can be combined here instead of dividing them into different disciplines which were not meant to be taken separately in the first place.

He noted the content of the scholarly dissertations made on the highland culture were never shared but instead kept in the shelves. “Dissertations for the dead and not the living,” de Leon said about the studies which never showed the people themselves the beauty of the rich traditions they have kept alive.

The School of Music opens a summer program on April 8 in voice and instruments for all ages. The formal school year opens on June 2013 – 2014.

Baguio tenor, John Glenn Gaerlan, helped Divina Bautista of the Delphic Society and University of Baguio president Johann Behn Bautista prepare the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) requirements for the new program. He said Benny Sokong, Kalinga music specialist, will be among the teachers in the program. Jose Soliman, Baguio NCCA representative for music, said this new school makes Baguio a center for music in the north.

De Leon said the arts are the primary factors in raising the intelligence of a people because people become more perceptive. He added when the arts are developed, all else follow. Apart from the Philippines as the most expressive country among 150 and one of the most in love countries among 135, he said to the Filipinos it is important for us to express love. The more we express, the more intelligence we have. The moment we express ourselves, we relax. “We may not be punctual because of other more important things but the punctual are the more stressed people,” he said. The Filipinos have their stories while the other nations need the psychiatrists, he added.

Pointing out how music saves economies, he said in the 1960s when England was in an economic recession, the Beatles saved the economy. He also said the best export of Switzerland is Abba. Like the modern day renaissance, artists bring changes and others follow.

Talking about arts, de Leon said, “Art heals.” Music attains peace of mind, he added. Hospitals employ musicians because music hastens healing. He noted that the social cost for addiction will be lower with music, too. We dance when we are happy and can induce more well-being. Rhythm and well-being go together, according to him. Even laughter is rhythmic, the more well-being, the more rhythmic, he continued.

The center of music in the north, the University of Baguio’s Center for Music is located behind the gymnasium with eight rooms named after the great Filipino musicians and composers.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 14, 2013.

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