Why We Teach Music

At Evansville Day School, the music instructors believe that music is more than just sound and lyrics, music is interdisciplinary and multi-faceted.  Read the article below which encompasses the true feelings of Marilyn Lankford, Dona Hayden, and Steve Greenwell, the gifted music instructors at EDS.

Why We Teach Music

author unknown

 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, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.

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 complete and universal language.

Music is mathematical:  it is rhythmically based on the sub-divisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.

Music is history:  music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and/or racial feeling.

Music is physical education:  it requries fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lops, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back , stomach and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all of 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 we teach music!  

Not because we expect you to major in music.

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life.

Not so you can relax.

Not so you can have fun.

BUT - so you will be human,

so you will recognize beauty

so you will be sensitive

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 shore, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?

That is why we teach music!

Reprinted fromt he Spring 1998 issue of Da Capo, the Delaware ACDA newsletter