Music can be a very private experience. The emotional reaction and catharsis that can come from listening to music alone can be very satisfying. But even with that said, music is best when shared!
British composer Malcolm Arnold once said “Music is the social act of communications among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.” Prolific singer-songwriter-piano man, Billy Joel had this to ad: “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”
And it’s true, everyone tends to agree that music has special powers that help to connect every single person on this little blue planet.
And never is this connection more obvious than when experiencing music live. Music was meant to be shared as a community, and in today’s fast-paced, modern world, it helps to connect us as a community.
Which brings us to this week’s topic. Sometime we can lose sight of the importance of live music in our communities and our lives, despite how important is can be, especially for young children. Let’s take a look at the top 7 reasons live music is so important to your community, and how it helps give students an amazing opportunity to grow.
For the Audience
Live Music Touches The Heart & Soul
A lot of children don’t have many opportunities to see live music, if they have any at all. With so much access to pre-recorded, digital music literally at our finger-tips, we often neglect the importance of attending live events. But watching musicians actually perform live can touch the soul and fire the imagination in ways that recorded music simply cannot. It connects the performers with the audience in a deeply intimate and powerful way that can’t be replicated through an iPod.
Live Music is a Motivator
For young and old alike, going to see live music can be incredibly inspiring and motivating! It makes us want to go home and pick up that old, dusty guitar! And this experience is even stronger in active music students. We want them to leave a concert feeling like what they want to do most in the world right now is go home, break out their instrument, and start practicing. And if they keep up the hard work, and practice everyday, they might just be able to play like their favourite performers!
One of the most amazing things about community events that feature live music is the opportunity for a diverse performance. Through these kinds of recitals, the audience, and especially young music students, can be exposed to a wide range of music they might not otherwise hear in their daily lives. The world of music is massive, with more variety than can ever performed in a whole lifetime, but live music can give you just a flavour of everything that there is to offer.
And what’s more, every performance is unique; even if you’ve heard the same piece before, each performer gives the music their own interpretation and flare. Students can learn a lot from hearing different versions of the same song.
For the Performers
Goals to Work Towards
On the performers’ side of things, live recitals offer a number of benefits as well, the first of which is a goal to work towards. Practicing at home and in class is all well and good, but having something to work towards is even better. Recitals give students a set date and time by which they must have their music learned. This teaches them how to manage their practice time, while also learning what it feels like to polish a piece to perfection.
Measure Success and Progress
One of the important parts of a live recital is that it allows students an opportunity to feel successful. Learning to play an instrument requires a lot of hard work, both in the classroom, and alone. A performance gives them the chance to show off what they have accomplished, and feel good about their success.
And hand-in-hand with this opportunity, is the chance for your child (and you!) to see where they have come from, and where they can go from where they are, skill-wise. When they watch beginning students, they can see how far they have come from when they were just starting out. And when they watch their more experienced peers perform, they can hear and see performances of songs they will enjoy learning and playing in the near future, and see some of the more advanced techniques they will be studying soon.
Learn to Conquer Nerves
Everyone gets nervous sometimes, but it’s all about how you handle it. Performing live music provides students with the chance to feel that nervousness, and to learn that it’s okay. And what’s more, it provides early experience for some of the most fear-inducing situations in adult life: speaking in front of a group of people. Learning to perform music provides a safe environment for students to gain confidence in front of a crowd. Studies have shown that the earlier these sort of experiences happen, the easier you child will handle these kinds of situations as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.
Sense of Community
And finally, live music has a way of creating a wonderful sense of community, both among the performers and the listening audience. These sorts of events are amazing opportunities for students and parents alike to meet others in their communities, and experience their culture at a local event.
When an audience experiences a great performance, they are forever linked to one another, and the musicians, by that place and time in their memories.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is super busy, and we don’t always make the time for live music at community events. Going requires planning, and in many cases a certain amount of sacrifice. But it’s important to remember just how important live music is to the lives of our children, no matter if they are in the crowd, or on the stage. If we want to help develop musicians that have a love and passion for the arts and for life, they need to experience the wonder of live music in concert.