One Piece of Art Changed our Family Car Rides
How One Piece of Art Changed our Family Car Rides and Even my Daughter’s Grades
As my daughter steps out of the car for school, I see her clamoring around to find her flute. She shines a smile at me as she informs me of her next performance. She is currently enrolled in her junior high school’s choir, band, and theater program. Without it, I know her school experience would be very different. She loves school. The music program is her biggest reason for that enjoyment. During difficult state budget cutbacks, I get angry when there is constant chatter about cutting musical programs in the public schools.
It would be tragic to cut the public schools’ musical programs. I just can’t imagine my daughter’s life without music, or, my son’s life without music since he is now a professional musician. I couldn’t imagine my own personal life without music. Music can change my mood in an instant. It’s hard for me to be sad when I listen to a piece of Motown music. In fact, I give it to my clients for a quick mood-altering shift during moments of despair.
Research time and time again shows the benefits of music in improving math, science, spatial, and student motivation in academics. Now there is a whole special field in my area of work called musical therapy. When there are worries about academic developments in the area of math and science, we should not look for relief in cutting the music programs.
The most defining moment in the power of music is just one piece of art in our family’s life. That single piece of art that changed our lives forever is the musical soundtrack of the Tony award-winning play, Hamilton. My daughter is now a history buff. Her grade in History skyrocketed from a C to an A. She consistently performs at the top of her History class. She now buys history books for her reading pleasure.
Who would have ever guessed that one soundtrack would have such a profound impact on my daughter; a history soundtrack no less? Not only did this have such an incredible impact on my daughter, but also on our family shared musical experience as we ride around town.
These car rides are forever changed. As we drive around, we play the Broadway rap of Hamilton at full tilt. We discuss our American history. We dive deeper into our history with our desire to learn more. We scour textbooks or any on-line information we can find to uncover more enlightenment. We talk about the struggles and perseverance of our founding fathers of America.
Hamilton sings, “I’m young, scrappy, and hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot.” This line encapsulates the tenacity of our founding fathers and the immigrants who founded America.
Being young, scrappy, and hungry also reminds us of the beauty of our youth. When we are young, we aren’t weighted down by all the responsibilities of being an adult. We have the ability to go for our dreams. “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities,” says Shunry Suzuki a celebrated Buddhist teacher, “In the expert’s mind, there are few.”
This Wednesday I am honored to go to my daughter’s Christmas Choir Program. I will see all the young vibrant children singing some of their favorite Christmas songs. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
So, when our state budget starts to clamor for cutting the musical programs in our public schools, I hope you attend every board meeting there is or any letter you need to write to stop it. Music is vital to our emotional well-being and to our children’s academic achievements. These children are “young, scrappy and hungry” and we don’t want them to throw away their shot at the American dream. It will make Hamilton proud.