I believe that taking music lessons is one of the most unique experiences in the world because it teaches you what many other skills cannot. Not only does music essentially teach you or your child a new language, but it also gives you many other tools. Plato and Aristotle believed that through learning music, especially developing children, one would be moved to be more morally virtuous and that it prepared them for intellectual enjoyment. I can’t help but think that this is an incredible way of viewing musical learning. Plato specifically explained that creating a habit of learning that was enjoyable brought about harmony in a child’s soul. Taking music lessons allows this musical learning to be on a one-on-one level where the student is taught according to their learning needs. As someone who has dyslexia, I can personally speak to how influential it was for me to have a teacher that worked one-on-one with me to help me be successful.
Along with music lessons creating habitual harmony, it gives children an outlet to express and deal with their emotions. Mr. Rogers, a music lover and an influential figure in the belief that children’s emotions are important, said:
Music is the one art we all have inside. We may not be able to play an instrument, but we can sing along or clap or tap our feet. Have you ever seen a baby bouncing up and down in the crib in time to some music? When you think of it, some of that baby's first messages from his or her parents may have been lullabies, or at least the music of their speaking voices. All of us have had the experience of hearing a tune from childhood and having that melody evoke a memory or a feeling. The music we hear early-on tends to stay with us all our lives.
Mr. Rogers spent his career dedicated to showing his audience, namely kids, the importance of not only accepting their emotions, but also expressing them. I think there is no better way to do this than through music. In one-on-one music lessons, a student is able to gain this musical skill much more quickly than they would in school music classes.
Music lessons also develop many other skills; it can develop habit, a skill of continually learning and repeating the compound effects of music. It also develops self-discipline. As the student practices and sees their skills improve, they will be able to see how worthwhile it is to never give up and continue to pursue what they love. This in turn helps to build a child or adult’s confidence. They are able to learn and put into practice these skills in front of others through recitals, helping them to build their confidence in their abilities. Even by just playing in front of friends and family at home, and also for their teachers in lessons, they are building confidence. This confidence carries through to all areas of their lives.
My favorite part about being a music teacher is being able to watch a student grow and find their passion for music. It can sometimes be challenging, but in the end there is nothing better than seeing your student succeed at what they love. Music gives us much more than just a skill—it gives us something we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.