Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Soul Music

Why are you a teacher?Heart Watercolor

Honestly, for me, I began teaching because it was a way for me to pay the bills when acting jobs weren’t coming and stay connected to what I love to do.

As I’m sure you have discovered in your own path as a teacher, there are hidden rewards that you discover only as you do it.

Lately, I have been noticing how many of my clients’ lives are really taking off since they committed themselves to singing…and it’s made me think about the real reason we want to make music and share it…as performers or teachers.

It’s great for our souls.

We all have different experiences, views, beliefs, thoughts, questions about the whole why-we-are-here-on -planet-earth thing.

I certainly don’t know the answer, but I do know that things like being kind, laughing, and making things better for someone else makes me feel like I’m on the right track.

So here is where the music teacher thing comes in…

We all know in our guts that music is a language that everyone understands. There is music in our speech, laughter, and crying. It’s all around us in nature.

I even learned from my experience performing with deaf actors that music is not only for the hearing.

Just look at this montage of Deaf West’s production of Big River (in which half the actors are deaf) and tell me that they don’t hear music…perhaps in a more profound way than we who are hearing.

My point is…as music teachers we have the privilege of remembering that what we teach is not just technique, theory, ear training, and musicianship.

All of these mechanics create the foundation to have and share the beautiful experience that is music. Music is healing for the performer and the audience.

When I teach technique, I try my best to remember this greater goal…that we are here to share good things with each other. And technique is the vehicle to share music in the most beautiful way.

Music is one of our best gifts because it crosses our perceived boundaries and connects right to the heart.

Seriously, just having a client put their attention on their heart as they sing or play, letting the music come through there, is a great way to remind them that what we are about is real, honest communication, human to human, soul to soul.

You know your own clients and what will resonate with them and what is meaningful to you as a musician. Those are the great things we share as teachers…

It’s also helpful to remember that we have the opportunity in every moment of teaching to pass on some goodness, nurturing, and yes, even love, to those we are privileged to teach.

How do you see your purpose as a musician and teacher?

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3 Comments

  1. Dave

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m crazy enough to believe that everyone should play an instrument because it helps us all deep down. I’ve heard people say that music was God’s gift to show us a little slice of heaven. I don’t know if it’s true, but it makes sense to me.

    I just started InTune Studios (website should be up mid-Dec) and our vision is that: ?We improve the quality of people’s lives by helping them make the music they always wanted, even if they didn’t think they could.

    It’s about giving people, young and old, a better life through music. That’s why I think everyone should play something. Not everyone believes it, but I’m out to convince people.

    Thanks for a great post, Dan.

  2. Dan Callaway

    Thanks for a great comment, Dave. All the best with InTune Studios…with the intention of giving people a better life through music, I don’t see how it can’t be a success…

  3. Edna Bloom

    In addition to the wonderful observations you’ve written, we might consider the benefits of stepping outside of our “ordinary lives” into a purely creative time period. Making music is ephemeral, but the benefits are often permanent. It’s not only the resulting beauty, but also the process that is so enriching, even with the laborious starts and stops of getting launched. Thanks for writing about your experiences.

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