In a previous post, I promised to write about why learning music can be essential for some children. By essential I meant that without the opportunity to dive deep into learning and expressing themselves through music, they will suffer … but if they do have that opportunity, they will quite possibly thrive. Basically, it's like oxygen ... it's that important. I'd like to explain.This would have been a difficult post to write in my younger days. That’s because I worked with a music program in a residential treatment facility for youth with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), where youth were rarely allowed to pursue their passion. Learning music was like oxygen for many of these youth. I saw what happened when they were allowed to learn music and I saw what happened when they were denied it.
The strengths (and weaknesses) we are born with essentially determine who and how we are in the world. If our strengths are developed in a healthy way, we can live our life at least somewhat successfully. But if we’re not allowed to develop them, then an important part of our nature is denied.This is such a basic truth that it can seem somewhat esoteric, so please allow me to restate it. Our strengths are our gold and can point to a very interesting life if mindfully pursued. They’re also what drives us – so you can imagine what happens if we’re not allowed to develop them?
So, if your children are drumming on every table they can find, take note. And if they’re always at the piano or singing in front of the mirror, don’t mistake it for narcissism! Great musicians may become famous stars, but narcissism is not why the good ones start.
Ahmad Jamal, one of the greatest Jazz artists alive today, said that he didn’t choose to play piano … the piano chose him. When he was 4 years old, mind you.
I won’t tell you any stories about those kids I knew who were driven to learn and play music but couldn’t. I hope I’ve already stimulated some thinking about youth and their strengths, and how important it is to encourage them to pursue their passion.Our talented teachers are examples of the lucky ones who got to learn what they love. We hope you’ll contact us to talk!