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A message to music students and parents

This says it all:

why i teach music

I thank my dear friend and colleague, Louise Hullinger for posting this gem.

And here’s another treasure from Kurt Vonnegut:

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”


PLEASE READ the COMMENTS to this posting below

5 thoughts on “A message to music students and parents”

  1. So true! And here is a link to the Collective Cadenza’s version of this message that came to my inbox right after yours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtdIbnEhJAI

    I was once married to a bass player – hence my initial interest – but what struck me was the message held by the “Fact Man” at the end. It reads: “LEARN AN INSTRUMENT / BECAUSE IT’S FUN”.


    1. Another comment on the video. If a child partakes of the dazzling virtuosity of a bass player, he or she can respond in one of two ways:
      1) I want to play just like that NOW because it looks and sounds like fun 2) Do you mean I have to practice every day to play like that man does, and go through the baby step stages as I did when I pulled myself up in the crib, crawled and then walked?

      It’s number 2) that’s becomes the challenge.


  2. Thanks for sharing such an engaging video! I especially appreciated the historical march of the bass, and the player’s versatility. I must say that the word “fun” is often synonymous in our culture with instant gratification without commitment to thoughtful, patient, step by step learning. And in one of my satirical blogs, I tagged the “fun-loving parent” as one who expects and wants everything in her children’s life to be “fun.” If it’s not “fun,” it’s not worth the effort. This speaks to a “skimming the surface,” passing through, multiple exposure to nearly anything and everything that seems on the surface, tantalizing. I guess, my recent separation from two long-term students memorialized in “The love you and leave you life of a piano teacher,” brought home loud and clear that these children had not been taught either in school or at home about the JOY of WORK and how getting INVOLVED by the DOING, practicing OVER TIME, would reap personal and emotionally satisfying rewards for LIFE. I think the culture surrounding children and parents fosters top layer, icing on the cake activity if I can use a mixed metaphor. But in my heart, I know that the greatest FUN comes from steady, committed, patient, engagement in musical study with a teacher who feels the same.


  3. I found this very pertinent post from a colleague that resonates with me, and many in our profession: ” Another twist to all this is, that we have become a voyeuristic society as well. Children (& adults as well), see only professionals singing, playing instruments, playing sports, etc., and assume that music or sports is all about performing, with little or no preparation. This is particularly true of those who think they’d like to learn to play the guitar. They take one lesson & either think they’re a star, or realize that it’s too much work & it wasn’t what they thought it would be. Piano is just not cool these days. I try to counteract that in my studio, with private students, by holding regular workshops that get them to play or do other musical activities together, and also to socialize. It helps a bit, but many of them don’t practice nearly enough, and sports always comes first.”


    1. And then there are mothers, re: the social and sharing aspect of making music, who won’t let their children participate in recitals, informal musical get togethers, etc. It’s like the teacher’s hands are tied….(but not the case with SPORTS)


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