IT'S A VERY ANCIENT SAYING, A TRUE AND HONEST THOUGHT...

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It's a very ancient saying, a true and honest thought....that if you become a teacher by your pupils will be taught.  These are the words sung by the beautiful actress Deborah Kerr in the classic movie, THE KING AND I  words and music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein.  I have had the pleasure of singing the rolls of Anna, the school teacher and Tuptim the young girl pledged to the King.  I have also had the pleasure of seeing the great Yul Brynner in his signature role of the King of Siam, on stage before he past away.  The incredible duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein, with their incredible wisdom of both words and music, continues to fascinate and amaze me.  As a musician and composer as well as a vocalist who sang this wonderful words, I am in awe. 

How true these words are.  As an educator I learn from my students every day.  Students come to me because they want to learn to play music or because their parents think they should learn music.  However they come to me it is my job to make them fall in love with the music.  In return they expand my mind, challenge me to do better and to learn more each day.  Sometimes, it is all I can do to keep up with them.  However, I love what I do and continue to gain more knowledge each and every day.. 

Recently I was reading a book by Dr. Grant Venerable, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania..THE PARADOX OF THE SILICON SAVIOR.  In this book, Dr. Vernerable states,"Significantly, one of the most striking facts in Silicon Valley Industry is that the very best engineers and technical designers are nearly without exception, practicing musicians,"  Scientists and doctors have proven that music students' brain develop differently,  Why then, when budget cuts come not only at our schools but in our homes,  MUSIC is the first to suffer.  Music teachers have to do with much less than any sports program.  I truly believe that parents and administrators alike look at music not from a point of academic exceptualism but from a point of lesser value.  Less immediate bang for the buck, if you get my drift.  This mind set couldn't be further fro the truth.  What music brings to the average students life can not be calculated immediately and their intrinsic value are hardly ever taken into consideration.  They should stop a moment and consider what is staring them in the face.  MUSIC makes everything better.  It expands the mind, Increases test scores and keeps students happier therefore they become more productive.

I have attended my fair share of high school and college reunions.  One thing I have taken notice while attending these events. The number of people from different parts of the country and different year of graduation who have been truly successful are those who participated in music department in the form of Band, Choir, Drama and the visual arts.  What can we learn from this?
Music prepares us for life like few things can.  We start out not knowing a piece of music.  We struggle with it, work through it, memories it and then perform it either for a concert or a recital.  We receive an immediate response.  We are successful in the strongest way possible.  We have achieved our goal.  Together or by our selves we have reach a pinnacle that no one can take from us.  If that isn't life, what is?

My hat is off to the music teacher through out our great country who continue every day to hone their craft and bring the love and magic of music to their students.  As theses students continue their education through music they expand and develop their minds to make them productive and successful citizens.  Still the song is sung.  "It's a very ancient saying but a true and honest thought....that
if you become a teacher by your pupils you'll be taught..." The student learns and the teacher learns, the process continues to amaze me.