Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Importance of Concert Attendance in Music Education

One aspect of music education that is often overlooked by students and their parents is the importance of attending concerts of all types. Regardless of the genre of music, hearing live concerts provides positive reinforcement of concepts learned in private lessons. Here are just a few of the additional benefits students receive while going to a concert.

  • They are exposed to a variety of sounds that widens their musical interests. Music comes in many different styles. As a growing musician, it is important to experience a variety of them. Most of our students are familiar with pop, country, and R&B through what they regularly hear on the radio. Concerts are an easy way to check out other types of music as well. Consider attending a concert featuring blues, jazz, or classical music. Hearing these sounds may develop an interest in learning more about music of a certain era or written by a specific composer.
  • Students develop their aural skills. Music lessons train the hands and muscles to make music. However, the ears must be trained as well. Exposure to high-quality performances allows students to more clearly recognize their own mistakes and develop the ability to distinguish between what is great or mediocre playing.
  • Concerts provide a standard of playing. While sitting in the audience, students hear a performance to compare themselves against in areas such as tone quality, rhythmic precision, dynamic contrast, and overall performance. Additionally, these live performances show students the level of playing that they can obtain with consistent study and effective practice.
  • Students explore the sounds of other instruments. Did you know that a pianist can learn a lot from listening to a trumpet or cello? While some issues discussed in private lessons are unique to the instrument being studied, other concepts can be heard clearly in other instruments. A pianist can strive for a smooth connected line like a violin would play or the sharp attack that might come from a trumpet. Exposure to a wide variety of instruments helps students explore the possible sounds of their own instrument.
  • Concerts connect the student to a larger community of musicians. It is often easy to develop the false assumption that you are the only one practicing so hard when you don't interact with other musicians. It's fun for students to realize that the person on the stage was at the same level they currently are once upon a time. Additionally, many concerts provide opportunities for students to briefly speak with the performers after the final curtain.
  • Attending concerts is FUN! After all, isn't the joy of music why we're taking lessons in the first place?
Now go to a concert, enjoy the music, and have fun exploring something new!