Why Music Education Matters
Little in this world can affect people more than music—whether it’s a catchy song on the radio or front-row tickets to the philharmonic, people invest themselves in the musical world, and for good reason. Music is more than just entertainment; it can teach us valuable lessons on how to think, how to act, and how to feel. It brings people together so that they can listen and learn in harmony. It is this music we should be teaching to incoming generations, for this will shape their choices (and their lives) for the better.
Learning to play, practice or perform music is more difficult than it seems. Mastering an instrument, whatever it may be (the clarinet, the piano, the voice), takes much dedication. There is great value in such a skill: by playing music, whether for an audience of thousands or in the privacy of your own room, you are bringing a composer’s message to life. Music is one of the most beautiful means of self-expression, and you can contribute to that simply by playing the notes on the page. The theory behind music is also beneficial, whether you’re studying the lives of famous composers or learning to write music of your own. It is essential to get a comprehensive understanding of music, not only for what it is, but for what it was intended to do.
But this education extends far beyond musical aptitude. Aside from the obvious practical benefit of learning to play an instrument, music helps fine-tune a variety of skills. When playing in an ensemble like an orchestra, musicians are taught the importance of listening to one another, of cooperating as a team to make a beautiful, unified sound. When sight-reading a new piece, a player learns how to focus, to push through even when the subject matter is difficult beyond belief. When playing scales for hours on end, a musician becomes disciplined, determined to do whatever it takes to succeed, no matter how tedious the task.
Musicians develop an incredible sense of precision, making sure to catch every note and rhythm and cadence, and the melody that follows demonstrates the truly incredible merit behind their hard work. Oftentimes, this merit cannot be measured: it can only be felt. The thing about music is that it expresses what cannot be put into words, and brings about feelings you didn’t even know you were capable of. It is easy to be moved by music, for it is the product of the performer’s heart and soul (oftentimes, they are telling the composer’s story through their own lens). Continuously, people are inspired by music; they are motivated to keep the tradition alive.
Music education matters because it helps people find their passions and share them with those who will listen. By keeping music alive, we are promoting teamwork, perseverance, and hard work. And by keeping music alive, we are helping people find themselves along the way.