I am not going around saying music is the best class, but it matters in schools and students.
Right from week one in my choral methods class, we were challenged with the question, “What is your philosophy for music?”
To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer that.
Music programs struggle to stay a oat in our world today.
The general public has the opinion that music is not needed in public school or only certain students should study it.
Educators are tasked with the job of having a plausible reason to even have a program.
To quote my choral methods textbook, “Musicianship is common denominator among all people.”
Unfortunately, we must give the public enough reason as to why music classes matter.
Like any other group or club at a school, kids need to find their niche. Take away music, and a student may never know if that is what they enjoy or even want to pursue later in life.
To be clear, I am not saying music is the most important. It is equally important and should be offered to young kids, just like art, sports, etc.
With that being said, I enjoy making music and learning about it. Music holds lots of history and culture, whether it be older, classical music or today’s popular hits.
I’ve learned to play many instruments and sing. I’ve learned how to write and read music.
I’ve learned to appreciate this art. As a future educator, I want to provide that opportunity for many students so they can have a chance to learn if they choose to.
Music can help support students with their abilities in learning. On nafme.org (National Association for Music Education), a whole list of benefits is listed.
Music is known to help develop language, reasoning, memorization, improved work, coordination, achievement, engagement, success in society, emotion and pattern recognition. It can also lead to improved test scores, imagination, relaxation, discipline, creative thinking, spatial intelligence, teamwork, risk taking and self- confidence.
Now, this is a long list, but each point has a good reason behind it. Music is not just a enjoyable subject, but can enrich students’ lives and education.
Additionally, much like a sport, music ensembles are like a team or family.
Students are taught leadership, teamwork and an understanding of goals to reach in order to succeed.
Where I come from, my music teacher had what he called a success triangle: hard work plus having fun equaled success.
It’s a simple equation, and when done right, it can lead to success and give students a sense of achievement. This triangle can be used on a small or large scale.
Of course, trials come along the way, so students will need to be reminded it won’t be easy. Neither is life.
Not only is this relevant in a music classroom, it’s relevant on a sports field, at a workplace, at home, practically anywhere.
Having this kind of mindset can help kids as they grow up and move on into the real world.
I could go on and explain more ways and reasons, but this is just a start for building a philosophy for current and future music programs.
As said in the Directing the Choral Music Program textbook for my choral methods class, “Developing a philosophy, like anything worth doing slowly. It is the task of a lifetime.”