Music has the innate ability to connect to almost all other aspects of life. It is for this reason that students tend to gravitate towards it as an outlet, as an expression of emotion, as a release from the everyday mundane. It is also for this reason that as a music educator, I have the responsibility to act as a facilitator and foster that outlet, expression, and release.
Having music available to students in school is the most efficient way to reach the largest number of students who want to enrich their lives via music. If not for music in the public schools, the availability of music lessons and a music education would be limited to only those financially able to enrich their lives. Music should be available to everyone, not only those who are financially stable. All students should be allowed to experience music in any form they wish. Some may choose to experience jazz music, others may prefer classical music played in a chamber ensemble or maybe even a full symphony orchestra, and still others may favor pop music played on just one guitar. All options should be available for students to take part in, so that all interests may be nurtured.
Each of the aforementioned ensemble settings provides a specific skill and knowledge set to the students involved. Apart from those skills, being in an ensemble also teaches students how to listen to their peers and can teach valuable lessons such as, “You may not be the most important part, but everyone plays a part in creating the whole.” There are life lessons that can be learned in either music classes, sports, or other academic extracurriculars, but some students may only be able to learn them through the faculty of music.
Music is a subject in which one can learn from his or her entire life. At one point in life it may affect someone in one way, and down the road it may affect him or her in a different way. So in this sense, the “process” lasts an entire lifetime and the “product” is ever growing and can be looked at at any point in one’s life. It is the role of the teacher to be a facilitator to people who are making these choices while in the student stage of their lives. Because music is a lifelong process, teacher may act as facilitator for longer than the “required” 12 years of public education, and this is perfectly acceptable, warranted, and indeed expected in the field of music.