I recently came across this article on my facebook feed.
One of the items from this article, item #6, really struck a chord with me (no pun intended.)
Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
This is one of the things that I have seen first hand as an educator. Our biggest problem as music teachers of young students is when students come to us, they often have faced little to no challenges in their hobbies. Particularly in the realm of sports, everyone is a winner between the ages of 5 and 10. "You struck out 3 times and made 4 errors in the field? Don't worry, here's a trophy for participating, you're awesome!"
While this train of thought may be beneficial to a students ego, it does their self-determination no good. Students who participate in music lessons often learn the direct correlation between hard work and success very early on in life. There is no faking being a good musician; it takes hundreds of hours of practice and dedication just to be considered "mediocre."
Think about this next time you hear of a local public school cancelling yet another music & arts program.