Music Education

This article struck me in particular because of its conclusion:

“Consider the qualities these high achievers say music has sharpened: collaboration, creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas. All are qualities notably absent from public life. Music may not make you a genius, or rich, or even a better person. But it helps train you to think differently, to process different points of view — and most important, to take pleasure in listening.”

I think this is a very true statement that music helps train your brain to think differently and helps give you the ability to learn better because music requires practice, experience, and knowledge which are all things we talked about in class.

This reminded me of Plato’s arguments in Politics. Towards the end of the section we read, Plato would set up the education system with the four branches, music being one of them. He claims that music education would provide a intellectual outlet for leisure time (VIII.3 p.2123 1338a31-a32). In the NY Times article I found, the author here also mentions how many musicians are not professional, and use music as an outlet and to provide “balance” to their lives. Both Plato and the author of this article agree that music education is important not because it will make someone successful or provide a profession, but rather give people an intellectual outlet for their free time. Because no doubt practicing music allows people to learn and communicate more effectively, which the article argues as well.

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2 responses to “Music Education

  1. I completely agree that music is very beneficial to a person’s development. Music was a big part of my life too. I took piano, violin, voice lessons, and I was part of my high school choir for 4 years. Although I can’t really tell if my brain has become better or more creative or anything like that, but I do know that I can appreciate music more because of my lifelong exposure to it. Sometimes when I’m feeling really stressed I just put on my favorite song and I feel a lot better, or when I’m on a long car ride I plug my phone into the car stereo and start belting out tunes with my cousin. I really don’t know how I could live without music.

  2. I like what you have pointed out in your comment! I cannot tell if music has bettered my thinking or creativity, but I definitely think overall it has benefitted me in many ways. I also believe music also helps people socially develop as well. I have hardly played music alone, even when I was practicing my parents could hear me from another room. Music brings people together whether one is playing and one is listening, or whether there is an ensemble playing together. To go even further, there does not even have to be music playing to inspire social engagement since music can be a topic of discussion. Overall, like you said I cannot tell if I’m a better thinker, but I do believe it has helped me socially and allowed me to meet new people and engage in discussions.

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