When I first started college I was studying music therapy. I still LOVE music therapy, even though life changed and pulled me away to focus on teaching. I don’t for a moment regret everything I learned in my therapy classes, one of which is that music doesn’t have to be just for me. I was always that shy kid who didn’t have the slightest bit interest in performing. My music was for me, and I wanted to get better at playing simply because I enjoyed it.
Is this thinking wrong? I believe it can be …
What about the musicians who travel overseas to offer music to kids in countries who have nothing else?
What about the musicians who take music into prisons and create new meaning for those whose best known skills have landed them apart from society?
What about the music therapists who use their music daily to change the lives of people in all stages of life?
What about the musicians playing in churches across the country each weekend, leading others to worship God?
What about the students who perform in nursing homes to bring joy to the elderly?
What about the teacher who goes into underprivileged settings and teaches for next to nothing so the students are given opportunity?
It is good and important to love music simply because we love it. But music is also meant to be shared.
One event I am privileged to be a part of each year at Skyline Music (skylinemusic.com) is Music Against Hunger. We encourage our students across all instruments and in the community to play from 10-6 on a Saturday in December. All performers and guests are asked to bring canned food or monetary donations for the food bank. Each year this event has grown, with over 100 performers have signed up to perform throughout the day this year. A local church (cityviewbc.org),whose members regularly use the food bank’s services, is making refreshments and cookies for the event.
Can we use our music to help others? Absolutely. And it can be done a thousand different ways. This holiday season, let me encourage you to include your students in some sort of project that shows them the value of sharing their music. Your desire to instill these values in them now could lead to lifetimes of others using their talents to better society!