top of page

Students' Reflection: What's The Point?

As the warm weather starts settling in here in Boston, so too does the yearly influx of end-of-year recitals, auditions for the following school year, and the flurry of recording criteria to prepare and finesse. In this season of preparation, sometimes it can become easy to lose sight of why we choose to take on these looming tasks.

Just the other day, I had a frank conversation with one of my more longtime, advanced students who was in her usual yearly grind to prepare for a large annual audition. The last several years had yielded regular upgrades in ensemble placement, with a more rigorous selection of pieces, more motivated peers and higher expectations overall to continue to progress. Yet (like about 95% of my student body), this student was not planning to major in music performance after her high school graduation, so with her increasingly intense academic schedule as a rising upperclassman, her other high priority extracurriculars, and with her longtime training in music vying for her time and attention, this season she was feeling increasingly (and very reasonably) the sense of "what's the point?".

As I mentioned earlier, I fully expect that the huge majority of my students will not be continuing music as a lifelong profession. As incredible of a field as it is, it is also scarce in opportunity and usually under appreciated in most roles, and certainly not for the faint of heart. Yet, the number of examples out there of successful individuals in other fields who credit music as a huge part of their development in their respective fields is undeniable. Albert Einstein is commonly known to have credited a great deal of the joy of his life to have come from playing the violin. Former Secretary of State Condeleeza rice was also a highly trained classical pianist, as is our current Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Many top surgeons at the highest rated medical institutions also had training as musicians earlier in their lives, which they credit with helping to hone their precision and dexterity.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that music is the only activity which simultaneously utilizes both the creative and analytical sides of the brain, as proven in multiple studies including this done at Vanderbilt University. Perhaps it's because students who learn music score up to a full grade level higher in exams in English, Math and Science, as shown in this study done by the University of British Columbia. Or maybe it's because those who study music have a higher level of empathy, and therefore are more adept at producing strengthened social bonds, as presented by this article in Psychology Today. Whatever the pinpointed reason, the benefits of learning music is not only to learn a hobby, but to learn the accompanying skills that come with it as well - skills which can easily be transferable onto any other field of study you choose.

For my student, this realization transformed her perspective. She recognized that her musical journey not only enriched her personal growth but also enhanced her college applications, showcasing valuable qualities like teamwork, resilience, and determination.

If you're looking to add the benefits of a music education to your life, feel free to reach out to get started on your piano lessons, or lessons of choice today!

2 views0 comments


bottom of page