My goal as a music teacher is to give the gift of the love of music to my students. Teaching private students in Connecticut, over the past few years, students have asked to study with me to prepare for regional and all state auditions. Especially as a Suzuki teacher, spending months preparing for an audition is unfulfilling. For the student it can be very one-sided educationally.
I have struggled with this issue for some time. It seems more recently that teenage students and their parents are more concerned with acquiring accolades rather than the experience, dedication and growth associated with such accolades. Like “fast” fashion, “fast” achievement in the long run is bad for society and bad for a student’s health.
Feeling used, I’m asked to reach into my bag of tricks and perform a magic act resulting in a student’s ability to add participation in a particular orchestra on their college application. For the student, it leaves them unable to pursue authentic creativity. Some basic skills get glazed over. Important repertoire is discarded. These things are not considered important in the pursuit of the achievement.
With the gift of music, there is nothing lost and so much more to be gained. It is a gift for society. Young people grow into creative and generous adults. With all of the sadness, loss, and harm in the world, the love of music is planting a garden where there used to be a parking lot.
The Inspiration for Violinists card deck
This “Joy of music” card is part of a 50 card deck. Every card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.