The British nanny state is Weaponizing Mozart to control children, writes Brendan O’Neill in Reason Magazine. West Park School in the English midlands uses Bach to Basics to punish misbehaving students: Students “have to sit in silence for an hour listening to classical music on a Friday evening.” O’Neill writes.
In “special detentions,” the children are forced to endure . . . 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.
Across the UK, classical music is played in public places to get young people to move elsewhere, O’Neill writes. Tyne and Wear in the north of England was the first to use “blasts of Mozart and Vivaldi” to get rid of young people who were annoying other passengers. The “most successful deterrent music included the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven, Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninov, and Piano Concerto No. 2 by Shostakovich.”
In Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess imagined a therapy using drugs, gruesome films and classical music to make a young prisoner feel revolted by violence (and Beethoven). It was supposed to be a dystopia, not a model, O’Neill writes.