Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sixty Eighth Post - W


I have written several posts (including one more to come) about my experiences as an elementary music teacher. Those were good days. It was a great gig. You may wonder (or not) why I switched from teaching music to counselling. Good question!

Simple answer.
Budget cuts.
Music classes were cut! Ugggg!

Rather than going into the twilight of my career as a classroom teacher, I returned to University and completed an MA in counselling.

Funny story:
Counsellors have been cut and I'm contemplating a return once again to the role of classroom teacher.

As I pondered the question WHY, I was reminded of  a reflection called, "WHY I TEACH MUSIC?" which I kept posted on my music room door. It captures the essence of the passion I had as a music teacher.

                       Why Teach Music?
Music is a SCIENCE
It is exact, specific, and it demands exact acoustics.
A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph that indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.

It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.

Most of the terms are Italian, German or French and the notation is certainly not English, but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music is a HISTORY
Music usually reflects the environment and the times of its creation often even the country and/or racial feeling.

It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek, and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all of these things,but most of all Music is ART.
It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technically boring, but difficult techniques and use them to create emotion. That is the one thing science can not duplicate; human feelings, emotion, call it what you will.

That is why we teach music!
Not because we expect you to major in music...
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life...
But, so you will be human -
 - So you will recognize beauty -
 - So you will be sensitive -
 - So you will have something to cling to -
 - So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good -
In short, more life!
I've not been able to find who the original author of these words is. If you know, please let me know, so I can give them the credit due.
Happy W Day!


  1. I think music is important too. I even took a music elective in college and learned so much. Those kinds of classes really help to make you a well-rounded individual.

  2. Music is so important to an education - Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

  3. I love this post. And I love music. And I love that you loved it enough to teach it. Bad education system that cut music education.

  4. I went to my granddaughter's music program last night and was once again in awe of the music teacher that could coordinate over 100 2nd and 3rd graders to sing and dance. A gift, truly a gift.
    I use to teach music in private piano lessons an pre-school programs. Music is so basic to us and yet we forget that it is something anyone can do. It is an expression just like writing.