I sat in during rehearsal with Sheila and the youth. After the initial sound check, Sheila sat down on the edge of the stage and said: "When we're in rehearsal, you're going to be full out. This is a time to be focused. There's no half. It's full out."
As budgets have been slashed and the arts have been devalued, music education has been evicted. It has been left to organizations to fill the void, so that students who might otherwise go without music education have the access and opportunity they deserve.
Cords for Music is a social enterprise I started last year. We produce and sell jewelry and design objects. We give a portion of all our sales to organizations that support music education in public schools and underserved communities.
Why is music important? We hear from Education Through Music partner schools that students are more engaged, attendance rates increase, and academic achievement rises. Numerous other research and data have confirmed the positive impact of music education in schools.
What makes an "artist" an artist is actually in their point of view, their intention, their approach and in the way they live their lives. In this light, becoming an artist isn't a destination; it's a way of traveling.
You may have heard this story before: classical music is in decline, music education is so important, but why should you care? Failing orchestras create severe economic, social, and cultural repercussions for our nation as a whole. This is very much your problem.
I'm glad the students at my granddaughter's school get to have music, drama, and art classes a few times a week. That's probably more than many kids receive these days. I just wish teachers didn't have to feel defensive about the value of exposing children to music and the arts.
You must have something outside of music that you can enjoy and do in your downtime. Most people do, but if you don't, you needs to find a hobby that takes your mind off the insanity that singing and the classical music career can foster.
The word spiritual comes from the Latin root, spiritus, which means, "to breathe life into." In that moment, however, the great halls of one of the world's most famous churches felt anything but spiritual.
I went to public school, and remember being assigned to read a few Shakespeare plays, a work or two of the ancient Greeks and several of the notable "coming of age" novels of the 20th century. But never once was I told to listen to a Beethoven symphony.
What is great about the omnipotent ingredient of music is that music is the juice that can make it all work together: cognitive and social development, motivation and emotional engagement, and mindfulness and well-being.