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Dear Fellow Musicians, Students and Parents,anne shih

“Con amore!”

Josef Gingold used these words whenever he spoke about playing music. Yet another great pedagogue/educator, ShinichiSuzuki, titled his book on music education, “Nurtured by Love”.

I have long been surprised at the level of fear exhibited by so many young musicians when they play an instrument. How is it, I ask, that a two year old can navigate a smartphone or computer game with nary a pause and yet, a musical instrument can pose such hazards? Indeed, what would happen if children were all given an instrument as a necessary tool for life? Does not music hold deeper value and meaning to our lives than a computer game or a smartphone?

Music is a natural instinct – children love to sing, particularly when they are happy. And they enjoy excelling and learning. The elated and satisfied face of a young child who has learned a new piece or mastered a new skill is a beautiful and uplifting vision to behold, for the expression comes both from knowledge and the spirit.

Education through music instills discipline and sensual motoric aptitude, strengthens emotional and analytical intelligence, and provides spiritual nourishment. It is biblical, and as the bible, it is for those to seek and find.

Music is alone in having the capability to provide such an all-encompassing education, because its method of communication provides a vehicle for limitless content, unhampered by the tangible. It can be an even greater bible or philosophy. Therefore it needs the sensitivity, intelligence and perceptive powers of a loving and responsible teacher, as well as parents who are devoted to investing time in their children.

Investing in education should begin early. The returns compound over time. A strong and steady foundation, with a long-term view is most important, whether we are occupied with finances, a building, agriculture, a writer or the environment. A person without roots can neither be stable nor strong, and these roots need to be provided by the parents and a solid education. There are no substitutes or shortcuts.
In addition, music, as a basic instinct, is an integral part of daily life, and, like sports, entails sensual motoric skills. Therefore, it must be taught early, paving the way for the groundwork for any future endeavours in life, be it in medicine, architecture, science, or music.

Those who are truly successful, be it in any field, always value great music, for music can satisfy the deepest spiritual longings, where other fields cannot. Music encompasses life. If you are a great person, you will be a great musician.

Prof. Anne Shih – May 2015