Why We Teach Music
MUSIC IS A SCIENCE
It is exact, specific, highly organized and must be 100% correct. It embodies many levels of physics from acoustics to architecture.
MUSIC IS MATHEMATICS
It is rhythmically based on the subdivision of time in space into fractions, which must be done instantaneously, and not worked out on paper, in a highly specific form with regard to exact placement and symmetry. It is disciplined and logical.
MUSIC IS LANGUAGE
It is composed of phrases, thoughts and ideas. Its goal is to communicate and to reach a part of us where words no longer suffice. Most of the terms are in a foreign language, mostly Italian, German or French. The line notation certainly NOT English, but a highly developed and organized symbolic system.
MUSIC IS HISTORY
It is the only art form we can hear as people hundreds of years ago heard. Unlike paint, whose image is always there once created, music is perpetually “repainted” each time it is performed. The feelings and thoughts of countless generations are forever cast into sound.
MUSIC IS PHYSICAL EDUCATION
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, eyes, hands, lips, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach and chest muscles. There are as many calories burned by a symphony trumpet player in one performance as there are by a quarterback in a professional football game.
MUSIC IS ALL OF THESE THINGS AND MORE, BUT ABOVE ALL, MUSIC IS AN ART
It allows a human being to take science and technique and create EMOTION. This is the one thing that science cannot duplicate – human feelings and emotions.
THIS IS WHY WE TEACH MUSIC
Not because we expect to produce music majors. Not because we expect people to play all their lives. Not so you can relax. Not so you can trot around a field in a uniform… But so you will be more human. So you will recognize beauty. So you will be more sensitive, especially to all the thoughts and feelings put into sound through the ages. So you will be closer to the infinity of your own heart and soul. So you will have something to cling to. So you will feel the beauty of being alive. And so you will come to know the value of your own self.