Teach music with love (Valentine Special)
Valentine’s Day is approaching, and I will suggest that for once, we just forget about spending money on chocolates or jewelry. Let’s also skip awkwardly trying to find a date for the occasion, or wasting precious time on a romantic restaurant which happens to be overcrowded at this time of the year. What if we actually focus on celebrating love? I do not mean romantic love, but all kinds of love. If you teach music, there are many ways in which you can do it. After all, music should be about passion, about enjoyment, about creativity, and also about love.
Why do we love
music so much?
“I live for her
since you know / I first met her / I don't remember how, but / she entered my
soul and she stayed there / I live for her because she makes / my heart vibrate
strongly…” Are you thinking about your love of music when you read these lines
from Andrea Bocelli’s famous song “Vivo per lei”? You are
not the only one! Don’t we all love music? But why is that exactly?
There are many reasons to explain why so many people love music so much. In fact, while the individual preferences when it comes to music styles and genres vary from person to person, and depend on cultural background and previous experiences, the love for music, in general, is universal! Whether you prefer a catchy 90’s hit song that reminds you of your childhood days, or if it is classical music that gives you goosebumps, we all have a piece of certain music that makes us thrilled and delighted.
So how come is
that? Scientists have explained our love for music through different studies. It
is said music is one of the few activities that uses all of our brains. According
to Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University, music makes
our brains happy because it affects deep emotional centers, releasing dopamine
(the hormone of pleasure), especially before those peak emotional passages of a
given song, that are not only enjoyable but also anticipate the pleasure for
the following chords, notes or lyrics. That’s why we love listening to familiar
songs over and over again!
Which music do you
Why do some people like only pop songs and others prefer listening to a wide variety of music? Because predictability plays such a huge part in the enjoyment of music, your taste actually depends on your previous experiences. Which kind of music do you prefer? That probably is up to the musical environment where you grew. Parents who play music to their young babies will develop in them their interest and curiosity (by the way, no, you should not constrain your baby’s playlist to Mozart). The more music we are exposed to, the more complex rhythms and patterns we will be able to enjoy. Besides, people who study music and deeply understand its complexity are more likely to appreciate it. Therefore if you teach music, consider how much your music lessons can influence the taste of your young students!
On top of that, music binds people together. We like being around people that enjoy the same kind of music that we do, as anyone who has ever attended a live performance can confirm. Singing all together the same song with a whole stadium must be among the most astounding feelings a music lover can go through! As Ed Large, a music psychologist at the University of Connecticut puts it: “[Going to a concert] tends to make [people’s] brains synch up in rhythmic ways, inducing a shared emotional experience”.
Music offers all kinds of cognitive benefits for our health. In fact, many studies suggest it could prevent diseases such as Alzheimer's! Besides, music increases our memory and attention span, helping us to achieve better academic results. If we add to that how music helps us develop social skills, it’s no surprise how music can help us love ourselves more!
Learning to play a
musical instrument takes a lot of effort, but at the same time is a rewarding
activity. By teaching music to young children and teenagers, you are helping
them gain self-confidence, increase their self-esteem, and live happily! There
you are one big reason why you should always teach music with love, patience,
and dedication. Always remember to praise their students for their efforts more
than for the results!
means passing on the torch
Every time you are teaching one of your music lessons, you have a great opportunity to pass down the gift of music to a young boy or girl. Remember that your lessons should be fun and engaging, seize every single class as a unique occasion to passing down the torch since you never know how can any given student change their life for good because of something you taught them.
But most importantly, you should love what you do! You should teach music because you love music more than anything in the world. After all, there are many other jobs you can do if you are only looking for making ends meet. You should teach music because you can’t live with it and because you know other people’s lives will be so much better once they love it as well!
Which one is your special song?
Ok, ok, so a little bit off-topic, but hey, it’s Valentine’s Day after all! Of course, with this special date approaching, we cannot help but think about those particular songs that remind us of someone special. It may be the song you two listened to the first time you met. Or the first song you danced together. As for myself, I adore “Your song”, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, because that is the song we chose for our wedding video!
Now, because of science, we can tell that the reason those songs sound so special is that our brain associates them with the person we love, or with a particularly pleasant moment that we spent together.