6. Toward a Higher Purpose for Music Education

This essay will present three fundamental areas of thought on the subject of Music Education.

  • First, on the universal need for music education.
  • Second, after the image in Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road not Taken, how American music education took the wrong road.
  • Third, toward higher goals for music education.

Teaching Music is the oldest profession on Earth. Plato dates Music Education to 13,000 years ago. It was taught for most of that time through performance and without any notated materials, because it was older than any written language and even older than the use of numbers! According to Plato, Music Education stressed not just the pleasure of listening to Music but also for the education of the inner person through the development of character and the appreciation of beauty. In general, the goals were similar to the ancient Greek Delphic Temple, “Know Thyself.”

The universal need for music education today is to help us understand ourselves in the right hemisphere of our brain, where the real individual present tense us exists. The second need follows, to restore the importance of emotions and feelings in an otherwise cold, factual and mathematical world.

For countless centuries Music was synonymous with performance, understood by the ear and not the eye. This all changed in the late Middle Ages when there was a decision by the Roman Church to begin notating Music on paper. This changed the entire History of Music in four fundamental ways.

  • Music became addressed to the eye, instead of the ear.
  • Function replaced Feeling.
  • Emotion was outlawed. Even today 1,000 years later we have not a single symbol in music notation for any feeling or emotion. This followed deliberate efforts by the Church to discourage its members from associations with emotions, such as going to the theater or the coliseum. St. Basil, 3rd century, even maintained that a good Christian should not even laugh, for laughing is a form of emotion!
  • Music became a branch of mathematics. Music, they said, was only the part of arithmetic that you could hear. A 10th century story has a nun giving a Music lecture to a group of students and one student raised his hand and asked, “When are you going to talk about Music? You have been talking only about numbers.” The nun replied, “But that is how you talk about Music!”

It is very unfortunate and important to understand that these four characteristics remain today as fundamental parts of Music Education. First, we emphasize what is on paper, but what is on paper is not Music, it is grammar. We teach what is on paper primarily because it is easier than talking about things like feelings and emotions. The emphasis on the eye even takes over our language. In rehearsal we might say “watch out for intonation problems at Letter B,” but we don’t look for intonation problems, we listen for intonation problems

We emphasize function in music education rather than the development of the person. I once was playing golf with a recently retired man in Austin who commented that for his retirement he bought himself a new truck. He was not familiar with CD players and so he asked a friend what this device in his new truck was for. In response, his friend gave him a CD of Mozart piano Concerti. The next time the man drove his truck he put on this CD and soon was so astonished by this new experience of listening to Classical Music that he pulled off the highway and parked just to listen. I asked, “But surely you must have had some introduction to Classical Music in the Austin schools!” No, he maintained that in public school and in four years at the University of Texas he had never had any introduction to listening to Classical Music. The extraordinary thing to me was that he added that he did play trombone in high school and for four years in the University marching band, but he regarded this as a social activity which he enjoyed very much but he had never associated this activity with Music!

Music education based on the eye results in some artificial concepts.. We say we are teaching Music when we teach rhythm, but actually we are teaching arithmetic. We do not talk about rhythm as movement and its ancient association with Music. Marin Mersenne, in his Harmonie universelle of 1636 wrote,

“Rhythmics is an art which considers movements and which regulates their succession and their mixture to excite the passions and to maintain them and to increase, decrease, or calm them”

We say we are teaching Harmony when we draw those familiar Roman numerals on the blackboard, but we are really teaching the writing of harmony as a symbolic language. We do not ever hear the harmony teacher use words like “pain” or “sorrow.” We say we are teaching Music when we teach performance on instruments, but we are really teaching this as a digital skill and not as a means of emotional expression.

We are teaching some concepts which are truthful, but which are unusable. An example is found in the form class when we introduce the Sonata Form. We write centered at the top of the black board, “Sonata.” Then beneath that we diagram the three sections of a sonata form: the Exposition Section, the Development Section and the Recapitulation Section. And under this we continue with the parts of these sections, the Exposition Section for example consisting of a first theme, transition section, second theme and closing section. We end up on the blackboard with something that looks like someone’s family tree, with one word at the top and all the rest flowing down in a big triangle, etc. Well, this is all true information, as any survey of Classical Period sonatas will prove. However, while this is true information, it is also unusable information. That is because at no time as a composer, performer or listener to we ever listen to the sonata form from this perspective, as if it were seen from the side of a barn. If knowledge of the sonata form is to have any usable value it must be understood from the beginning, the left side of the blackboard, experiencing it through to the end. And in this way the student would encounter some valuable elements of Time, such as the way Time becomes shortened in our memory as it moves into the past tense. So we are teaching information we can never use. An exception: this is usable information if we ourselves someday have to teach this class!

Beginning with the year 1300, this artificial description of Music by the Church dominated music education. But in 1300 the Renaissance [the word means “rebirth”] arrives with a return to the ancient Greek values of Music, with Feeling now becoming as important as the Intellect.

Leonardo da Vinci,

“The tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”


“Music must be emotional first and intellectual second.”

This emphasis on the importance of Feeling has been testified to by many following major composers.


“Music is to me the perfect expression of the soul.”


“The prevailing characteristic of my music is passionate expression.”


“My universe is the soul and heart of man.”


“The best in music is not found in the notes.”


“Music is the speech of passion.”

This return to the ancient understanding of Music being an expression of the emotions was of course shared by Baroque performers, as demonstrated by descriptions not found in the Middle Ages. For example a critic, Raguenet, writing in 1702 describes hearing a violinist,

“The artist while performing is seized with an unavoidable agony. He tortures his violin, he racks his body, he is agitated like one possessed with an irresistible motion.”

Another left a first-hand description of the famous Arcangelo Corelli playing his violin,

“His eyes will sometimes turn red as fire. His face will be distorted. His eyeballs roll in agony. He does not look like the same man.”

And it is no surprise to find descriptions of listeners also so moved.

Samuel Pepys, 1668,

“The music ravished me and did so wrap my soul as to make me really sick…as if in love.”

An audience member after hearing a Handel performance,

“A stranger, seeing how the audience were so affected, would have imagined they all had been distracted.”

These descriptions of the importance of the associations of emotions with performance seem very familiar to us today when we think of the performance of music. This is especially difficult to understand when one acknowledges that the most common definition of Music itself by philosophers for many centuries before has been, “Music is a Special Language which allows us to communicate Feelings and Emotion.”

This being true, it is all the more surprising and extraordinary that modern Music Education has not reflected this. Most Music Education today is only functional, having its focus on creating players and singers and corresponding ensembles. And it seems so devoid of discussion on Music and the emotions that one sometimes wonders if the very word is not allowed in the classroom.

American Music Education takes the wrong Path

On 4 October 1957, an event occurred which changed the world, the launching of Sputnik I, the first man-made satellite, by the Soviet Union. You could see this object with the naked eye after dark and a radio signal allowed everyone to hear it beeping. I can vividly recall the nation-wide hysteria this caused, coming as it did during some of the darkest days of the Cold War. The average American was at a loss of words, “We won the war, we invented the automobile, the airplane, the radio, telephones, movies…how could someone else do this?” People imagined Russia bombing us from the sky while we were defenseless.

The immediate result in America was a demand for more money for science and mathematics. I remember my music education teachers at Michigan at that moment in panic, fearing that this sudden change in national priorities would result in the loss of national support for music education.

The music educator’s response was a movement to change the direction of music education, to make music more like the rest of the curriculum, emphasizing the study of composition, music theory, music literature and the Conceptual approach to music education. But the choice they made was to destroy the very history of music education, performance..

At this time the National Science Foundation set up a meeting in New York City to see if something could be done to help music education in the public schools. The NSF had no funds to support such a study, so the US Office of Education came forward with a large grant to sponsor a Yale Seminar on Music Education in 1963. The purpose of the Yale Seminar was to analyze school music and to propose improvements. The Seminar, held for 12 days in June and July, 1963, had its emphasis on musicality, stimulating creativity, composition and performance. Performance activities should be balanced among all groups and repertoire should be more contemporary, including jazz and non-Western music. The most interesting thing about this Seminar of concerned intellectuals, composers, musicologists and critics was that no music educators were invited to participate! The Yale Seminar did not produce any tangible results, but it did gain publicity and put the emphasis on music itself, rather than being occupied with teaching methods.

With respect to the fundamental changes in music education in the second half of the twentieth century, the most important Seminar was one which followed the Yale Seminar. The birth of this one, the Tanglewood Symposium of 1967, was frankly due to pure anger. The music education professionals were angered by the Yale Seminar, that they were not invited to participate in and that recommendations for altering the nature of music education were being proposed by composers and musicologists and not by music educators. In order to distance themselves as much as possible they named their conference a Symposium, rather than a Seminar. It was with this Tanglewood Symposium that the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) began to become the spokesmen for American music education in general, whereas previously it had been an organization concerned primarily with the elementary school level and teachers of general music education.

The immediate result of this Tanglewood Symposium was “The Tanglewood Declaration,” written by Allen Britton, from the University of Michigan faculty, Arnold Broido, the head of Theodore Presser Music Publishers and Charles Gary, executive secretary of MENC. In their preface they call for music to be a core part of the school curriculum because of music’s “contribution to the art of living, the building of personal identity, and nurturing creativity.” The three authors then tell us “Music educators at Tanglewood agreed on the following:”

  1. Music serves best when its integrity as an art is maintained.
  2. Music of all periods, styles, forms and cultures belongs in the curriculum. The musical repertory should be expanded to involve music of our time in its rich variety, including currently popular teenage music and avant-garde music, American folk music and the music of other cultures.
  3. Schools and colleges should provide adequate time for music in programs ranging from pre-school through adult or continuing education.
  4. Instruction in the arts should be a general and important part of education in the senior high school.
  5. Developments in educational technology, educational television, programmed instruction, and computer-assisted instruction should be applied to music study and research.
  6. Greater emphasis should be placed on helping the individual student to fulfill his needs, goals and potentials.
  7. The music education profession must contribute its skills, proficiencies, and insights toward assisting in the solution of urgent social problems as in the “inner city” or other areas with culturally deprived individuals.
  8. Programs of teacher education must be expanded and improved to provide music teachers who are specially equipped to teach high school courses in the history and literature of music, courses in the humanities and related arts, as well as teachers equipped to work with the very young, with adults, with disadvantaged, and with emotionally disturbed.

Well, you don’t see the word “performance” there and Music is performance. Wagner in making a study of music education in Munich reminded his readers, “The invisible bond, uniting the various branches of study, will always have to be performance.”

You can talk about music, but that is not music. Committees were appointed to further study the above eight pronouncements, and this culminated in the publication in October, 1970 of 35 official objectives for music education. Again, these 35 goals were all about the parameters, age, and race objectives of music classes, but none of the 35 dwelt with actual performance Music itself.

With respect to the nature of these goals, I want to add a personal observation. These Tanglewood “Declarations,” as well as the following thirty-five goals and objectives which were a result of various committee reports at the Symposium, do not reflect at all what I personally heard at the time. I vividly recall that the strongest feeling among the delegates who were not performing musicians themselves was in fact a desire to minimize the importance of performance in music education. The specific rallying cry was opposed to the “peak experience,” which meant the school concert.

This was, in my opinion, the focal point of the main response by the post-Sputnik panic in music education. Conductors like Bill Revelli, Frederick Fennell and James Nielson moved with great celebrity through the nation as guest conductors giving wonderful concerts. But what about the thousands of other music teachers who could not be great conductors, nor even thought of themselves as artists? What is left for them; how do they fit in? They can only talk about Music.

MENC removed emphasis of music performance, the dominant voice of the experiential right hemisphere of our brain, and deliberately focused on the left hemisphere conceptual description of music in an effort to gain accountability in the post-Sputnik educational world. But Music has nothing at all to do with the left hemisphere of the brain, except for notation. Neither, in fact, can the left hemisphere form conceptual language to describe the experiential nature of Music in the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere can only form conceptual language to describe things about the grammar of music.

As a result there is now a point of view that MENC, for all its efforts, has had little impact on music education and one cannot honestly evaluate the results of the shift to conceptual music teaching without considering the following facts:

  • During the 1970s the participation of high school students in music courses declined from 25.1 to 21.6 percent, and fell even more during the 1980s.
    [The American School Board Journal, December, 1988, page 15]
  • A 1985 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found: 61% of adults do not attend one cultural event per year; 80% of adults have never had a music appreciation course, yet; 25% [57 million!!] of adults played an instrument.
  • A 1991 Report of the National Commission on Music Education (Reston: MENC, 1991) found regarding the student-teacher ratio in music, South Dakota ranked best at 151:1 and California last at 1,535:1
  • Only 15% of California music classes were taught by a qualified music teacher.

Great minds had earlier predicted these results. Wagner wrote,

“That the acceptance of the empty for the sound is diminishing everything we possess in the way of schools, tuition, academies and so on, by ruining the most natural feelings and misguiding the faculties of the rising generation, we may take as punishment for the sloth and lethargy we so much love. But that we should pay for all this, and have nothing left when we come to our senses, this, to be frank, is abominable!”

George Bernard Shaw, Music in London, 1890-1891, believed,

“The notion that you can educate a child musically by any other means
whatsoever except than of having beautiful music finely performed
within its hearing, is a notion which I feel constrained to denounce.”

Heinrich Heine, Letters on the French Stage, 1837, wrote,

“Nothing is more futile than theorizing about music.
No doubt there are laws, mathematically strict laws,
but these laws are not music; they are only its conditions…
The essence of music is revelation; it does not admit of exact reckoning.”

In view of this decline in music education in the United States in the second half of the 20th century, I believe the time has come when we need to completely reinvent Music Education. It will require new pedagogy and new materials, and it must be centered in performance, in the experience of Music and not in listening to lectures.

A new understanding of Music Education must have, as its foremost goal, the focus on the development of the self-identity of the child — helping him to discover his own unique emotional template. That, at present, we simply leave for the student to experience on his own out in the street. This has had a fundamental effect on society as we see it today. Music education, through performance and contemplation, can change this. No one else on the school faculty is prepared to do this. The great potential for this new kind of education has long been recognized.


“Music allows us to gaze into the inmost essence of ourselves.”


“When we encounter that which is great, beautiful and significant, it needs to woven into the fabric of our inmost self, must become one with it, to create a new and better self in us.”

We are speaking here of fully one-half of the child’s brain, for which traditional education does almost nothing to educate. Music Education offers real education in the right hemisphere of the brain and it the only subject in the school which occurs entirely in the present tense. In addition, Music performance the student has direct exposure to a great mind. This is not true even in the other liberal arts, such as painting or literature where an object, a canvas, or a book, stands between the student and the great mind.

Because music educators today have grown up under this exclusion of the true right hemisphere nature of music, I believe it is important here to offer readers some reassurance about the right hemisphere. Early philosophers always said that Reason should rule man. Well, let’s be honest, we all know we are not inclined to follow Reason; we follow our feelings. If you are looking for a used car you can do hours of research, and have the salesman follow you down the line of cars reading his list of selling points, but suddenly you exclaim, “I want that one!” and all the research is for nothing. Recent clinical brain research has now confirmed that in fact all major decisions are made by our emotions which determine our choices and not left hemisphere rational data. This is true whether we are buying a car, a house or choosing a wife.

And the fact that we make important decisions in the right hemisphere, even though it cannot speak or write, documents how important it is to the individual life. And the left hemisphere, don’t forget, contains only other people’s opinions. So let us have no fear about engaging in music education in the right hemisphere of the brain – it is Natural.

Some Unique Educational Properties of the Right Hemisphere

It is in the right hemisphere that we can experience the goal often mentioned by earlier philosophers of education regarding the opportunity of our being in touch with great minds. This is particularly true of Music more than other fields. When studying geometry, one does not feel in touch with Euclid. But in playing a Beethoven Sonata one can feel very connected with the composer. One cannot dismiss the opportunity in such a case for important insights. It is here that the issue of performing high quality repertoire becomes important. Philosophers since the ancient Greek Period, as well as great composers, have emphasized exposing the student to only the highest quality music. Aristophanes (450–366 BC) in his play, The Clouds, writes of the education of boys to be professional lyre players,

“Their lyres were strung
Not to ignoble melodies, for they were taught
A loftier key.”

Robert Schumann wrote,

“No children can be brought to healthy manhood on candy and pastry. Spiritual like bodily nourishment must be solid. The masters have provided it; cleave to them.”

The point is worthy of consideration. If your school children are going to be exposed to the minds of other men, do you want to offer them some violent rapper?

It is the right hemisphere that we find a special joy in going backward in time. It is here that we are so moved to see an old town we have seen in many years, or an old friend’s face after some long time (his name we may forget, for as language it is stored in a different computer, the left hemisphere). It is this special location of enjoyment which gives us satisfaction in hearing a recapitulation or da capo, “here we are back home again.” It seems obvious as well that this was the origin of these so-called architectural forms, such as ABA and the da capo.

There is nothing whatsoever like this in the left hemisphere. We would find no enjoyment when coming to the end of a novel to read, “go back and read the first five chapters.” And numbers, in the left hemisphere, consist in a linear progression which begins 1, 2, 3, 4 and never ever returns to 1.

The right hemisphere also has certain properties, unique unto itself, which govern our perceptions of Time. One familiar example lies in the fact that it seems to contain “software” for condensing Time, so that today seems longer to us than all of last month in our memory. This feature has been known for a very long time and it is reason why we do not take repeats in the da capo of the minuet form, for example. After having heard this music with repeats, by the time the da capo comes this material will have shrunk in our memory to about half its original perceived length. So a performance now without repeats seems to us to balance what we remember of the original, which with repeats was actually twice as long.

Another example of the right hemisphere’s governance of our perception of Time is the ability to understand as if in the present tense, a long movement of music at one time from the beginning measure to the end, a skill almost never required in normal daily life.

I was privileged to witness a remarkable demonstration of this one week during the time I was studying with Eugene Ormandy. The Philadelphia Orchestra at that time had a very strict time limit for the number of minutes which limited the duration of a concert. I can no longer recall the exact time, something like an hour and a half, which included time between movements, etc., but not the time musicians were warming up on the stage before the first down beat. If the time limit were exceeded, then very large financial results were imposed by the union. Among other things, it meant that usually the orchestra could not play encores. To control this duration factor Ormandy kept a notebook in which the assistant conductor entered the durations of performance time for everything the orchestra played, live or in recording sessions. So, when the conductor was planning the repertoire for the season he had at hand a pretty good indication of which compositions could be grouped together on a particular concert without exceeding the allowed time limit.

There came a concert when, due to the orchestras’ arrangements with Columbia Artists, the orchestra was to have a violin soloist for the Mendelssohn Concerto. The performance duration of the familiar concerto was predictable and so Ormandy decided to combine it with the Fourth Symphony of Bruckner. Each day, all week, I was fascinated to hear Ormandy create a beautiful interpretation of the Bruckner. The violin soloist appeared only at the last rehearsal, a Friday morning before the first concert of that weekend on Friday afternoon. It was a lady from Siberia, unknown to anyone, and she appeared on stage, shook hands with Ormandy and they began, there obviously having had been no prior discussion between conductor and soloist. To the utter amazement of us all, she played a very slow interpretation, so slow one wondered if she had never heard any other interpretation. The concert time limit was obviously endangered!

After having performed the entire concerto, Ormandy gave the orchestra a break and came down into the hall where I was sitting with the assistant conductor, Bill Smith. Ormandy asked, “How much over is it?” Smith replied, “Five minutes, maestro. What are you going to do?” Ormandy thought for several moments and then said, “I will take five minutes off the Bruckner.” One can imagine, my being young and idealistic, how stunned I was to hear this. I remained to hear that Friday afternoon concert and sitting in Ormandy’s box with my score and a stop-watch, as I was anxious to hear where he would “speed up” to make a shorter performance time. The amazing thing was, considering I knew in advance what was going to happen and had been present all week at rehearsals, I could at no time feel that anything had changed! Ormandy was able to take off such very small elements of time spread over an hour long time-frame that nothing seemed faster. The orchestra, who of course knew none of this, I am sure also did not notice.

The right hemisphere also is its own judge of perception of many things. Suppose you are conducting a very large honor band which has fifteen tubas, but one piccolo. You will in some places seem to need even more bass, but that one piccolo player is always so loud that it is very distracting. The acoustical engineer comes along with his left hemisphere decibel measuring machine and says, “But I can prove to you that the fifteen tubas create more sound than the one piccolo player!” Our own ear will always be more truthful to us than his data.

A final point is the fact that in ordinary speech the words of the left hemisphere are strictly as in a dictionary, they have a recognized meaning and correct pronunciation, but they carry no expression. It is the right hemisphere which adds the emotional character to the left hemisphere speech which actually gives it a specific meaning. For example, if you say the words, “I love you,” in an absolutely flat tone, it means nothing, it is just words. But, according as to whether you emotionally emphasis either the first or third word a dramatic result may occur!

When it comes to the teacher or conductor thinking about creating right hemisphere experiences in education for his students, there are two general modes which condition both the performance of the teaching strategies and their success.

The first was explained by Wagner in the analogy of a magnet, to which one can attach further pieces of iron and the magnetism continues to stream ahead unabated. Imagine a fine performance on stage by an orchestra of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony and what is created on the stage is the sum of the emotions of sadness of the composer, the players and the conductor. But, Wagner suggests, what leaves the stage and goes out into the audience is only the quintessence of the emotion, a kind of pure epitome of the emotion of sadness. When this reaches the listeners, perhaps 2,000 of them, this quintessence of sadness enters the ears of each listener but is then sifted through the experiential right hemisphere of each listener, where it is transformed or translated into an individual understanding of sadness based on that individual’s own personal experience with sadness. We then have 2,000 different understandings of the emotion of sadness, even though all 2,000 persons are familiar with the left hemisphere, dictionary definition of sadness. This is the source of the great power of music over man, for music communicates both in general and on an individual basis. In music education it means we can still have ensembles and activities and still educate the individual, presuming the necessary conditions and values are in place.

The second mode or condition which is crucial to right hemisphere music education is to find ways to block the influence of the left hemisphere, especially to prevent the eye, our most dominant sense, from taking over through notation. For example, the notation of a dotted eighth-note followed by a sixteenth note is a very fixed and final fact of the left hemisphere, no more variable than any other arithmetic formula. But the right hemisphere can consider this symbol in a hundred variations according to tempo, character of the music, meter, etc. We want the right hemisphere to be free to feel what the composer felt without being intimidated by the left hemisphere dogma. To say it another way, we want to see behind and beyond the notation.

I would be remiss at this point if I did not give an example of my own right hemisphere teaching strategies. I have, for example, said to an ensemble, “You are playing this beautifully in all respects, but somehow I don’t hear enough pain in your performance.” Then, without further comment, I would repeat the passage and the reformation of the interpretation would be most remarkable. The students, being trained to play what is on paper, can add something like this if only asked and the results are beyond description — and, of course, more musical. And how long, how many minutes of rehearsal time would it have taken to achieve this by my attempting to describe in words what I had asked for?

The right hemisphere is the half of the brain where the real child as an
individual is found. If the purpose of music is to educate the individual child,
then music education must be centered in the right hemisphere of the child.

Finally, l want to recommend for the new reformed pedagogy of music education, five new areas of emphasis which need to be included.

First is emphasis on the fact that music students experience Beauty as a form of Truth. This fundamental principle of the association of Music with Truth can be seen already in the 12th century comment by the philosopher, Gottfried Strasburg,

If Music is performed heartless, or soulless, or superficially or “not in the mind,” the result cannot even be called Music.

Second, emphasis on the fact that music students experience a world of higher Spirituality.

E.T.A. Hoffmann observed that musicians say “Our Kingdom is not of this World.” He calls this an unknown realm of feelings we never had before.

Jean Paul Richter calls this realm, “The echo of our inner souls.”

The 19th century philosopher, Herbert Spencer” calls this, “A realm of Things we have not seen and shall not see.”

Third, emphasis on the fact that music students experience principles of Morality.

The 15th century philosopher, Gafurio:

The successful ancient Greek cities cultivated Music as the Mother of Morals.

Francis Bacon:

Virtue is nothing but inward Beauty. Beauty is nothing but outward Virtue.

Robert Schumann:

The Laws of Morality are also those of Art.

But, already in the 3rd century AD, Aristides warned

There are other musicians who have taken the Nature of Music into depravity and cultural corruption.

Fourth, emphasis on the fact that Music Education develops Character.

Aristotle, following observations by many other ancient Greek philosophers,

Enough has been said to show that Music has a power in forming Character.

Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice:

Of that man that hath no Music in himself – Let no such man be trusted.

Martin Luther:

Music is a semi-discipline and taskmistress, which makes people milder and more gentle, more civil and more sensible.

Those who have mastered Music are made of good stuff and they are fit for any task.

Music is a mistress and governess of the human emotions.

Those who are not moved by Music are definitely like stumps and blocks of stone.

Shinichi Suzuki:

Teaching Music is not my main purpose. I want to make good Citizens.

But take Note: the 5th century BC philosopher, Aristophanes, warns,

Your choice of repertoire displays your Character quite sufficiently.

Fifth, emphasis on the fact that Music develops Manners.

Aristoxenus, 3rd century BC:

The correct molding or ruin of Manners lies in Music Education.

Pythagorus, 6th century BC:

In Music are obtained remedies for human Manners.

Plutarch, 1st century AD:

Ancient Greeks thought Music was necessary for seriousness of Manners.

Clement, of Alexandria, 1st–2nd century AD:

Music is to be studied for the sake of composure of Manners.


Music is able to work on Manners.

Kaiser Joseph of Austria on the purpose of the theater:

It shall work for the ennobling of Taste and Manners.

One striking illustration of the influence Music has had on this aspect of society can be documented in the famous Baroque German tradition of Tower Music, in which during their entire lives ordinary citizens heard noble music floating down from above three times a day. I have heard two separate contemporary German philosophers state that they are convinced this practice formed the basic character of the German citizen for two centuries.

In closing, may I recommend that if you are concerned about the falling level of public music and manners, I suggest you take Music Education off the sideline and make it part of the basic education of all our youth.