Music has been marginalized in our educational system and relegated to an extra that’s ‘fun’ but not necessary. And often when it is taught, it is so watered down and sporadic that it doesn’t begin to have the full impact it’s capable of. People are led to believe that you are naturally talented or not and that maybe it’s ‘not for you’ if you weren’t born with natural ability.
It is often said that getting to Carnegie Hall is 90% work and 10% talent. The point being that talent does factor in if you’re trying to be a world-class musician, but even then it’s mostly work. There are so many skills and benefits to be gained from studying and being involved in music that it seems ridiculous to say someone shouldn’t bother to learn if they don’t have the potential to be a concert pianist. Focusing, self-discipline, commitment, struggling, and learning how work on one’s own strengths and weakness’ are all things that can be gained from studying music or learning an instrument.
You would never tell a child who’s not a natural at math not to learn because maybe ‘it’s not their ‘thing’. Most people are going to need to be able to make change and are capable of learning quite a bit of math even if they don’t end up being a physicist. And who can really say anyway at such an early stage what people are capable of or that being a physicist or concert pianist are the only worthwhile choices.
Music has the ability to move people and can be a powerful force in their lives. It can console us when we’re down, motivate us to get things done and allow us to vent unhealthy emotions. It can reflect any emotion and even change our mood when we hear it. It’s hard to find a person that music has no effect on, and that’s just from listening to it. It’s power becomes even greater when a person is involved in the creation or performance of it.
In order for our kids grow up to be happy, healthy, productive adults, they need to have a well-balanced education. Growing up should be a time to be exposed to different subjects, sports and arts. All the skills they learn ultimately add to whatever they end up doing for a job but also add to make the rest of their life richer.