This is my first post, and I am so excited to be here and share my thoughts with you! I picked this topic as my first post because I think it may best describe me and who I am, my background, my beliefs.
Many articles/studies show the benefits of studying music in some capacity. I am pro-music education for these reasons, but I will not go into detail here about them since that is a topic already highly researched.
What I will do is tell you how I believe studying music has benefited me as a Christian Conservative, how music has actually helped teach me conservative values. (I studied music seriously, so please understand that this is where I am coming from).
- Studying classical music has taught me the value of a work ethic. In this day and age of instant technology, learning to play an instrument is still the same type of process it was hundreds of years ago. One needs good equipment, a good teacher, and a place to practice consistently…..for years. Like any skill, learning to play an instrument has its peaks, hills, plateaus, and valleys. It is not a simple process up a mountain to get to the top–and then we can coast there. It is not always “fun.” I do not like every single piece of music on the planet. But, that’s not the point, anyway. Some days of practicing are harder than others. The way it works is as follows: The better we get, the slower we see the progress. And, we are always trying to get better. We do not stay the same. We either get better or worse. It is easy to get frustrated and give up. But, the love of music is what keeps us going and working hard. And there are rewards for that hard work.
I consider this to be a conservative value because many in society today who are liberal-minded do not teach this value. Americans are hearing the message today that the government will provide for you, that you will be taken care of, that you are entitled. Even in our public schools now, children are taught they all need to be “the same.” They are not rewarded for hard work. For example, I know some band programs do not have chair placements anymore. God forbid we offend the kid who doesn’t ever practice by putting him/her last chair. This is ridiculous. The kid who practices diligently and harder than everyone else, who plays better than everyone else, should sit first chair. He/she earned it. This is what happens in the real world. This is what should be taught from the beginning years, don’t you think? Why would we have the kids rotate chairs, have the worse player play 1st part, and the best players on the bottom part? How is that benefiting anyone? When bad players are surrounded by good players, the bad ones usually want to work a little harder to keep up. When there is no incentive to do good work, the kids simply do not try their best.
And, in reality, no one can simply hand someone and instrument and make that person a virtuoso. The individual must be self-disciplined and have self-reliance.
- I own my performance. The performance speaks for itself. There is no cheating, there are no short-cuts to get to a good performance. There are no gimmicks. In the end, the performance shows all the work, time, and dedication into putting together that performance. I take full responsibility for the outcome of that performance. (I don’t blame anyone else for my mistakes or lack of preparation. And I learn from each performance, so that the subsequent performances will be better.)
- The process of learning each piece of music has taught me a way of thinking on my own. The government is not telling me how to think in this case, how to be politically correct, how not to offend someone, etc. In learning music, at a certain point in my musical study, I have figured out on my own how to think about this music for myself and then give that best interpretation to an audience. It is an authentic representation of me, not someone else.
- Classical music is full of “masterpieces,” which stand the test of time. Therefore, I am interested in history; I respect what happened culturally and politically before my time. Many pieces of classical music were written during horrible tragedies: Messaien’s Quartet For the End of Time was written in a WW II concentration camp, for example. As a Conservative, I am interested and respect this country’s rich history. I do not see that this is being taught in our country today as it should be.
Now, I am not saying that only conservative-minded people are great musicians, or anything along those lines. Please do not misunderstand me. There are plenty of great musicians who, unfortunately, are politically left-minded. I am only sharing lessons I have learned and how I have noticed a strong correlation with conservative values. Are there any others you can think of?
Please feel free to leave thoughtful comments below.
I do appreciate you reading my post today. Thank you.
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