Education can be defined as “the learning that results from continuously experiencing something greater than oneself.” The purpose of one’s education, of these experiences, is to not only enrich the self but to also help enable an individual to participate constructively, meaningfully, and morally within a society. An individual’s experiences through music have unique and powerful roles to play as part of a well rounded education.
In the pursuit of any activity’s mastery, there is joy to be experienced and wisdom to be discovered. Even in varying forms and in different degrees of involvement, musical experiences can enrich learning and personal well-being by having direct access to an individual’s emotions.
Music is visceral and incredibly personal. It can evoke powerful emotion and vivid memories upon instant recognition of a melody or lyric. Yet, it also has the power to simultaneously reference centuries of collective history and modern culture as well as develop the brain analytically, the soul reflectively, and refine some of the body’s more specific physical dexterities.
By themselves, musical experiences are not a complete education but by the same token, I feel that the presence of musical experiences are absolutely essential to the growth of an individual during their education.
So as a teacher of music, it is my duty to use music’s strengths and intrinsic power to convey to my students the biggest and most complete picture of the material that I can at all times with all the tools and knowledge I have available.
As a teacher of music, I will strive to not only make that critical link between the student’s needs and the requirements of the learning at hand, but also to make that act of linking itself an art form.
As a teacher of music, I will convey the importance of being open minded and receptive yet still confident and creatively experimental by living those ideals myself as I learn alongside my students.
As a teacher of music, I am also a teacher of how to differentiate between hearing and listening, between copying and creating, and perhaps the most critical lesson of all, knowing when it’s time to shine in solo, and when it’s time to return to the ensemble.
Music reminds us that learning is beyond just literacy; it is about real experiences with the material at hand that directly foster growth in an individual. As a teacher of music, it is my quest to live musical experiences with my students and to help them creatively apply that education to every other aspect of their lives for the betterment of both themselves and society.