The violinist Nicola Benedetti wrote an interesting piece for the ATL magazine (‘Final Word’, March 2018) on the educational-developmental value of learning a musical instrument. She is entirely correct, that pursuing such a discipline (and never was a word more appropriate) from an early age is an excellent catalyst to wider learning. It is also a lot harder than many classroom subjects.
For me, learning to play an instrument embodies all the essential qualities of good education:
- The challenge to learn a complex practical/technical skill.
- The need to acquire (and often commit to memory) a large body of detailed knowledge.
- The need to understand (and apply) complex theoretic underpinnings.
- Small scale technical and intellectual challenges to master in the service of…
- …a much larger ‘whole’ whose effect depends on those niceties , but also the ability to appreciate a higher level over-view.
- A combination of hands-on practical learning and received…
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