Side Effects of Studying Music: Strength of Character

I just watched a video by Simon Sinek on the shortcomings and challenges of the Millennial Generation. (If you’d like to see it—search online for “Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace”). Simon has a pretty bleak view of the general character of Americans born after 1994—entitled, lazy, lacking patience, no tools to work through hardship, narcissistic, unfocused…yikes! As I watched, I wondered why Sinek, who is a successful author and instructor at Columbia University, has had such a different experience with Millennials than I have. The young people I know work hard, are respectful, and seem quite aware of the their shortcomings. Could it be because most of the young people I am around are my music students? I believe studying music can balance out some of these cultural pitfalls. There are no short cuts in music. We all have to work hard, practice and remain diligent. Studying music teaches us learn persistence, and we gain grit.

Does your student love every aspect of practicing and run gleefully to the piano to right after school? Probably not! Mine six-year-old doesn’t either. I sometimes get a big sigh when I announce it’s time for piano practice. He does enjoy playing piano, but practicing isn’t always his most fun option of the day. I don’t mind, though. It’s the long game I’m concerned about. I want my sons to learn that there is great payoff in long-term, consistent, hard work. Some of the greatest fun playing anything—music, sports, hobbies—comes after a level of proficiency is achieved. In other words, after practice.

To this day, I continue learning and practicing on drums and I see myself continually improving. This produces confidence and joy I could never gain from shorter-sighted avenues of entertainment. I can sit down at the piano and play just for fun (which I often do), because I had a mom who wouldn’t let me quit in third grade. I credit my study of music as a major character-shaping factor in my life.

Don’t give up when it’s hard. It’s worth it. Play on!

-Laura Lee Crandall – Owner, KC Rock Band & Guitar School of Music

Student of the Month – Byran Mathew

For his hard work and great attitude, Bryan was chosen as February’s student of the month! He has been studying guitar with Mike English for 8 months, and was with Matt Crandall for a year before that. Here’s a little about Bryan:

What did you choose to study guitar?
My dad played it around the house a lot.
What are you learning with Mike right now?
–     Autumn Leaves (a jazz song)
What is a piece you want to play in the future?
–     New York State of Mind
What are your non-musical hobbies? -Tennis, Drawing, Biking

Congratulations, Bryan! Keep up your great work!

Possibly Side Effect of Studying Music – Strength of Character