This spring I over-scheduled myself. Too many large projects and I couldn't fathom the thought of another event I needed to plan, get programs arranged for, facilitate and host. We were supposed to have an Honors Recital but I got creative and instead hired a videographer to come and record the kids each playing their favorite piece they've been working on, and had them make a statement of what music means to them. The videos are currently being edited, but I am really looking forward to seeing them. I overheard some of the kids' statements, and they were powerful. This actually made me think I should have a larger project of what music means to our faculty, parents, students, etc..but let's just stay focused and look ahead for next year.
As I reflect myself on what music means to me, I keep coming back to one word: freedom. Freedom to be. Freedom to feel. Freedom to express. Freedom to create. Freedom to grow. Freedom to work on hard things and come out prevailing. In our metric driven society, it's difficult to communicate the value and benefits of music to people who live their lives with numbers being the driving force. It's not just about math skills and spatial reasoning. Or discipline, or reinforcing grit, though those are all great benefits. Music at its core, is a reflective art that is vast, diverse, powerful, sensitive and everything in between. It's the exploration of sounds as colors, emotions represented by melody and harmony, and a powerful heartbeat that like the human body, sometimes races. Music means that I can feel. What music means to me ultimately, is freedom. I feel most alive and 'free' when I am creating and working on making my own music, or making someone else's work come to life, with my voice.
As a music teacher, what music teaching means to me is that for every human I have that walks through my door, I have an opportunity to help them become the best versions of themselves. Being a replica of me is not the goal, but listening and helping them find sounds to communicate their inner selves is.
What does music mean to you?