In a May 2017 Time magazine op-ed article, Chris Kornelis writes about how the director of his former jazz choir taught him lessons about cooperation, about surpassing obstacles, and about maintaining a constant, repeatable “drumbeat,” as he calls it, to make progress in his daily work.
The over-arching point in Kornelis’s essay is that music lessons impart more than just musical knowledge. They teach a child that he or she can learn skills and tricks. (Playing a 1-3-5 arpeggio, whether it’s fast or slow, is undeniably a cool trick.)
When a child learns that some concentration and repetition equal – ZRRRING! – a new trick, this reinforces the idea that they are in control of their own development. Whatever they focus their energy on, that can be a place of improvement.
The idea of “practice” as a road to advancement is a crucial one. What is studying, if not practice? And with each new trick comes a bit of fluidity, and with each more fluid motion comes a more expressive sound, and soon? Soon the child is using the instrument as a vehicle for expression, as an extension of himself or herself. Soon their voice begins to form, whether it’s a singing voice, a clarion call on a trumpet, or a trill on a piano.
For all the talk of music-reading increasing IQ and GPA – all true, and all valid – what lays at the base of music instruction is a move toward mature expression. The fine points of musical performance, like the brief pause, the subtle articulation, the gentle decrease in volume in the more tender phrase, all translate directly to speaking and writing. Music is a way of communicating.
Find out about the benefits first hand and enjoy a FREE Cincinnati music lesson today!