• Music teachers should possess the attributes of the love of music and the enjoyment of working with people. Both these attribute help one effectively teach music. Teachers believe their work is important and worthwhile because of the progress they see in students and how that progress makes the teachers feel. A teacher will feel good if they can take that one tone deaf student that loves singing and get him to sing pitches correctly. This is meaningful. But why do we teach music?

    Music education is just as important as formal education to our society. In the US, music was first taught in schools around the 1700s. However, in Europe, the formal teaching of music can be traced back to the early 8th and 9th centuries. This was the time when many ancient Greek philosophers claimed music and the arts to be key to children’s’ moral development. People of this time had the idea of the Quadrivium. The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Music was set at such a high regard because it was viewed as central to those seeking to fulfill humanistic goals. This is for both vocal and instrumental music. Music became a significant part of the lives of the Pilgrims and settlers that were in the Northern Colonies of the first American settlements. They have the same religious reasons early Europeans had because many settlers brought their beliefs with them when journeying to the new world. I hope one day music can return to where it once was in reference to importance in our society.

    Although music education is a controversial issue in schools, I personally believe that keeping music programs in schools is beneficial to the development of students. Formal education is how we expose learners to many different disciplines. When students are allowed to experience many different subjects, they become well-rounded, and are better able to find their strengths and weaknesses. Developing skills in multiple subjects makes students more attractive to colleges.

    Musically Yours,
    Sem Etienne