“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato
The older I get, the more I’m convinced that music is one of the most important subjects that students can take. Luckily, I was fortunate to attend a public school that valued music education. I played the clarinet and was active in marching band in middle school and high school. I didn’t join band because I loved music, or because I liked playing the clarinet. You can ask my family – I was the worst clarinet player ever. Honestly. But my family will give me credit for trying. Every night I would practice and every week I would attend private clarinet lessons. Unfortunately, none of this really improved my tone. I squeaked a lot. So my solution was to play quietly so my squeaks wouldn’t be so noticeable 🙂
Despite my lack of musical ability, being involved in band was a great experience. It provided me with over a hundred new friends to hang out with. We practiced before school, during school, after school, and on weekends. Talk about dedication! I didn’t know it then, but this was my tribe, the group that I felt comfortable with, the friends that I would still keep in touch with over thirty years later.
Playing an instrument allowed me to meet people from other schools, to improve my mental performance and to learn perseverance. It gave me a better understanding of myself. It also taught me to manage my time. These are all valuable lessons that I’ve carried with me throughout my college career and beyond.
So if you have children, I encourage you to expose them to music. Get them involved in music programs. Yes, I know this is another activity to add to your already over-scheduled lives. But trust me, you won’t regret it.