07 Jul The importance of studying music…
By ArtSmart mentor, Lauren Cook
I became a teacher because of the way music effects me. Every time I turn on the radio, learn a new opera aria, sing an art song, etc., it has an effect on me. I love the feeling I get when I hear an opera begin or when an orchestra starts to tune. Music has the ability to change emotions and even alter our thinking.
I want to inspire students to continue music throughout their lives, let it envelop them, and appreciate it for all that it is and has to offer. Making music with our voices is such a vulnerable experience. I want my students to be comfortable enough to share that experience with me (as both teacher and mentor) and their peers. I told all my students in their first lessons during a warm-up sequence, “I am going to make weird sounds, and then you’re going to make weird sounds…but this is a safe space, we’re here together, and we’re not going to judge”. I think it’s important that the students have fun and feel a safe space around them in which to try new things, and explore new directions.
I want them to develop a real sense of creativity in the process of learning. Learning music, and our own emotional exploration, is a never-ending and significantly rewarding process. Music is so vital to life. It can inspire every single emotion. I want to expose my students to music that will make them cry and smile and laugh and scream.
Singing makes us vulnerable. It is a part of our own body that we set up to make great sounds. The lessons that come out of singing alone or with others are vital. It’s important to study music because of the life skills we learn on hard work, collaboration, patience, communication, confidence, and the self-control and discipline it takes to focus on one thing for hours at a time. The process from receiving a new piece of music to the final recital is vastly important and can be very rewarding.
I think a lot of people can get so wrapped up in the final product alone, and don’t balance out the importance of the journey. The skills they gain along the way are the most gratifying and long-lasting. My biggest passion is music. I’m an opera singer and music educator. I have a lot to learn but I thrive on it. I am a student of life and I want to take in all the world has to offer me. Especially when it comes to music. THAT’S the lesson I want to give my students. To constantly learn and explore, and to love and appreciate music in all it’s forms. To me, there’s nothing better.