One of the many byproducts of music education is character development. Schools are justifying paying tens of thousands of dollars to bring in specialized consultants on how to bring ‘character’ to students who attend difficult inner city schools. And yes, these types of character development programs do have a positive albeit limited affect. Other school districts have adopted character development programs that have a centralized theme shared either amongst the classrooms or in creating a school culture. Again, these are great. But while they have a longer term effect than a consultant, these districts are overlooking the obvious.
We can develop our youth and facilitate character development in a very organic way utilizing MUSIC EDUCATION and we can do it for no additional monetary investment other than simply keeping current music programs intact. Let’s take a look at performance based classes to see how they innately foster the building of character development as well as how they can reinforce it with simple actions.
Since the success of the group is based on the success of the individual students working together, young performers learn that they must be responsible for their own part. And In expecting other students to also be responsible, respect is formed as they grow tighter into a performance group. A trust is built, gratitude is fostered and humility is created. As the group performs (even in a rehearsal setting), a sense of pride builds yet they still want to become greater as a whole. Then, more experienced students demonstrate generosity by helping others with difficult parts. There is a compassion shown in their passion to move towards their common goal.
THIS is why I love to teach music. It’s not the genius music teacher who creates great music education, nor is it a naturally gifted and talented student performer. It’s the magic that is created when a group of children perform together, as a group to create something emotional, inspiring and limitless.