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GRE Argument: Mozart School Of Music Web Site - With A Free Essay Review
PROMPT: “The following appeared on the Mozart School of Music Web site. ‘The Mozart School of Music should be the first choice for parents considering enrolling their child in music lessons. First of all, the Mozart School welcomes youngsters at all ability and age levels; there is no audition to attend the school. Second, the school offers instruction in nearly all musical instruments as well as a wide range of styles and genres from classical to rock. Third, the faculty includes some of the most distinguished musicians in the area. Finally, many Mozart graduates have gone on to become well-known and highly paid professional musicians.’ Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.”
In this argument, the arguer recommends the Mozart School to all music students and believes it is the first choice. With the following three supporting details, this recommendation seems at first glance really convincing and trustworthy. But after a careful scrutiny, I find some crucial drawbacks in the argument's reasoning, which prevent it from being a reliable one.
In the first supporting detail the arguer informs us that the Mozart School stresses intensive practice and training, so that students typically begin their training at a very young age. However, there is no evidence that every student could improve greatly from this intensive training and practice. Common sense tells us that there are other determinants that could also exert tremendous impacts on one's success in the music field, such as talents, parental influences, peers' and teachers' encourages and so forth. Intensive practice and training could only serve as a part for this success. Even, if used improperly, it will also cause some counterproductive effects on the students' mental development. Moreover, even assuming that this practice and training do help a lot on students' musical development, it is not certain that all students who want to enroll in a music school are all young children, who can begin since very small. Probably there are many adult dedicated amateurs also longing for some professional training. If so, maybe the Mozart School is not their best choice.
Next comes to the second supporting detail. To strengthen his conclusion, the arguer here cites two facts here: (1) the school has ample facilities and up-to -date professional equipment; (2) its faculty includes some of the most distinguished music teachers in the world. However tempting these two facts are, we still have every reason to doubt if every student could equally benefit from this. Perhaps those facilities and up-to-date equipment are primarily pianos, violins, flutes, thus students in some other fields would gain little improvement from those modern facilities and equipment. Moreover, as we are also not informed about what fields do those distinguished music teachers study on, it is unreliable to draw a conclusion that any student could all learn with those teachers, thereby obtaining professional instruction.
Finally turning to the third supporting detail that many graduates have gone on to be the best known and most highly paid musicians in the nation; however, the arguer has not provided further accurate numbers and percentages about those accomplished graduates. Moreover, students' accomplishment, as I said previously, can by attributed to a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. We can by no means conclude all the success of those graduates a result of the schools' training.
In sum, these three primarily supporting details are all lack of credible facts and data, thereby lending little support to the arguer's recommendation. In order to be more convincing,(Before giving the final suggestion) the argument should tell us more detailed information on the fields of those teachers and the students, and on the students’ ages who want to enroll into music schools. Also, I need to know more about the accomplished graduates’ number and percentage, as well as their detailed information- probably via some further respective researches.
The original argument makes no reference, explicit or implicit, to “intensive practice and training” and also does not say that “students typically begin their training at a very young age.” Your essay would therefore be stronger if the second paragraph were deleted. That paragraph concludes with the claim that the school might not be appropriate for adults. That claim is not relevant to an evaluation of the original argument because the original argument only claims that the school is the first choice for parents who want to enrol their child.
The original argument makes no reference to the schools “ample facilities and up-to-date professional equipment.” It also does not claim that its faculty includes “some of the most distinguished music teachers in the world” (it claims to have some of the most distinguished teachers from the area). In any event, your task is to identify the assumptions of the argument, and to explain how such assumptions would impact the argument if they are unwarranted assumptions. That is not what you are doing in the second part of the paragraph. You don’t need to identify, for instance, what the school might not be telling us.
So, for example, in the next paragraph you claim that the school “has not provided accurate numbers and percentages about those accomplished graduates.” That, again, is not identifying an assumption. If the implicit argument is that the school offers good instruction, then you could claim that that argument assumes that the success of “many graduates” is a good measure of the quality of education. Since you are asked to examine the assumptions, it would be reasonable to then explain why that assumption might not be valid (as you more or less do). Note again, however, that you must also explicitly state what the implications are for the argument if that assumption proved unwarranted.
Your essay generally goes awry because it does not properly follow the instructions and because it misrepresents the content of the original argument. That suggests that you should read the prompt and the instructions more carefully.