Why I 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 which indicates frequencies, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.
Music is Mathematical
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
Music is a Foreign Language
Most of the terms are in 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 complex and universal language.
Music is History
Music usually reflects the environment and time of its creation, often even the country and/or racial feeling.
Music is Physical Education
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, 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 These Things, But Most of All, Music is Art
It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.
That is Why I Teach Music!
Not because I expect you to major in music,
Not because I expect you to play or sing all your life,
Not so you can relax or have fun,
BUT– so you will be human
so you will recognize beauty
so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
so you will have something to cling to
so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good…in short, more life
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?