Summer: Time to Flourish!
All year long, most public school students look forward to the summer as a time of relaxation and fun. Summer is the reprieve from all the stress that school can place on both students and teachers; exclamations of –
“I’m already counting the days until summer!”
can be heard throughout the school year. We have been trained from a young age that summer is our “time off.” So then, the question that parents of music students must ask themselves is: should their children take time off from music lessons in the summer as well?
SEASON OF LIFE
In nature, summer is a season of renewed life and flourishing. Many beautiful flowering plants and fruits become ripe during the summer; likewise, the summer is a promising period of development and progress for the music student. Summer is the perfect time for students to improve their skills with their instruments, and for good reason!
Stress kills creativity. There is ample scientific research indicating that creativity is better able to develop when an individual is at a state of peace and relaxation. Most of us can agree that the public school system has become a very stressful environment for students, and one that doesn’t particularly foster creativity by placing so much focus on standardized tests. When the majority of students’ days are taken up not only by these exams, but also by regular assignments in the classroom, homework, plus whatever after-school activities they may be involved in, it leaves very little time and energy for anything else, let alone music!
Summer is an opportunity to disengage from all of that stress (we all need a a break sometimes!)but it is also an ideal time for more creative pursuits. Free from all the stressors of the school year, the summer is the perfect season for music students to take leaps in their learning, and their flexible schedule will allow them to study music on their own time, rather than squeezing it into the end of an already busy day.
BACK TO SCHOOL ADVANTAGE
We now have plenty of research on the effects of music education in students’ lives, providing major benefits both in cognitive development as well as physical well-being. Please take a moment to do some research for yourself on this subject for yourself and see what a beautiful gift music and music-making is to humanity!
Here is a list of some of the skills that are developed through music study:
- Patience: music students develop patience as they work on preparing songs and improving skills over time
- Problem Solving: music students become independent learners as they figure out how to learn new techniques and songs
- Perseverance: music students develop discipline as they make a long-term commitment to learning how to play an instrument and its repertoire. This persistence pays off when students can accomplish increasingly bigger goals that they may set for themselves.
Now, those are just three skills that I’m highlighting for you because those three skills can very well be the most crucial for school (and life) life success! As music students continue to develop these skills more freely during the summer season, you can also expect them to present less resistance when it’s time to go back-to-school and thus give them a learning advantage from the start of the school year. Most importantly, I believe that it’s these three skills that are directly built through music-study that are also the most important skills needed to cope with seasons of high-stress which happen to everyone, children and adults.
SUMMER IS THE TIME TO FLOURISH
Summer is the best time for students to have music education in their lives! The most fruitful season in a music students’ life is wasted by taking a break during the summer. Not only that, but by stopping music lessons in the summer you are also placing music education in the same category as the back-to-school chaos and stress, when it actually gives students the tools they need to deal with that stress in a positive and effective way.
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