September 20


Dare to do the Less Measurable

Most people agree that music lessons are a good thing for children to do. Something that will help them grow and learn. Something that will help them express and problem-solve.

Yet, music isn't prioritized in most schools. They've made more movies about the failing school music program than the integrated, successful one.

That's for sure.

And every piano teacher has had countless students stop lessons because sports became too much. And many take on as many as three or even four sports at once.

I have an ongoing theory on this.  On why music tends to fall to the bottom of the list. 

I think it's because music is less measurable. And we struggle with less measurable.

It's hard to grade a musical performance like we grade a test.

Tests are black and white. Answers are right or wrong. 

But music can be judged a number of different ways. Correct notes and rhythms are just one aspect. Then, there's expression. And there's no one right way to be expressive.

And sports are based on competition, which is literally measuring which team scores more by the time the buzzer reaches zero.

When we can't predict the outcome or get clear on measuring the game, is makes us edgy. 

But when we dare to do the less measurable, we open ourselves to the possibilities of artistry.

And these possibilities can lead to wonders that the measurable can't hope to match.

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For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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