Hearing it helps me to be a better teacher, and learner, of music. It also reminds me that sometimes the best lessons come from the grasshoppers themselves.
For years now, I've heard researchers promote the theory that playing music makes you smarter. Likely true. But this is not why I play music, and I venture to say my students feel the same way. For us, it’s about the heart.
At Songinflight Studio, when you play, sing, or listen to music, you may find yourself...
- enjoying the beauty in music that others have created
- expressing yourself through music you compose or improvise
- connecting with friends and strangers alike
- being in the moment
- delighting in new sounds
- feeling emotions and moving through them
- opening up and being uplifted
- finding meaning in life events
- receiving comfort
- being challenged
- being human
- imagining a better world
So, while music lessons may increase your many intelligences and will most certainly help you with life skills like problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking, I ask you to consider why this all matters. As Mary Oliver says in "The Summer Day," "Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?"
May music listening, playing, and/or singing help you find your way. Delight in it, as if you were a grasshopper on a summer's day.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver