The Anything But Insignificant Role of Music Teachers

by Abby @ Quaver on January 15, 2013

in Music Matters


“Oh, you teach music.”

Have you ever heard someone utter that sentence in such a way that you expect it to be followed by a pat on your head or a basset-faced wince?

You can imagine the person thinking you became a music teacher because all the significant jobs in the world were taken.

Well, we beg to differ.

What you’re doing is tapping into a subject that touches the soul and as well as the mind. You’re helping children open gifts that were given to them at birth and making it more delightful.

Music doesn’t belong at the far end of the hall as though its significance is measured by its distance from the office. It and the other related arts are not add-ons, time-wasters or fillers.

In fact, music is woven through the all the core subjects.

  • Your students are learning math. How else can they work through beats and time signatures and notes on the grand staff?
  • They’re learning history – songs that rallied countries to war, songs that served as secret messages in the fields, music that provided the soundtrack for the Renaissance. Some songs are simply skillful history lessons squeezed into three minutes.
  • Your students are learning science. How does one hear music? What makes a tuba low and booming but a piccolo high and chipper? What are the physics that brought about the decline of the harpsichord and the invention of the piano?
  • They’re learning social studies. Every form of music throughout the ages was born in a social environment. Whether monks in a monastery, Baroque artists in a French coffeehouse, folk singers at a peace rally, or DJs in a disco, music is created in the context of culture.
  • And your students are gaining more than “book learning.” They’re learning concentration, coordination, cooperation, collaboration, innovation, improvisation, modification, and celebration.

Critical thinking, stand up and take a bow.

So the next time someone throws an “Oh, you teach music?” your way, we hope you’ll respond with a proud: “Why, yes, thank you.”

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