Teaching Music Equals Teaching Universal Skills

Why teach music?

I have given a lot of thought to the purpose of teaching music at the piano. The questions that most frequently pop up are:

  • what do my students need most
  • how can I best help them
  • how can I better prepare them for a life in music
  • how can I better prepare them for life
  • how does all this square with the long-standing traditions and expectations in studio music teaching?

What’s been missing?

I had long-felt that something was missing in the traditional music lesson – comprehensive universal skill training. Well-learned universal skills are vital and necessary to the traditional music lesson because they can significantly benefit every aspect of music. As well, universal skills are vital and necessary to life. They become effective tools for any application!

Universal Skills in the Music Lesson

Music teachers know their students don’t just learn to play music in music lessons; they are exposed to universal life skills along the way. But that’s been just part of the story. Students have largely been left to learn universal skills, such as problem-solving, patience, focus, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication, on their own and often not very effectively.

Spreading the word

In my book, The Transposed Musician, I present a guide on how to systematically teach universal skills in the music lesson. This guide to a whole new music lesson is something I have been refining for the past two decades.