The Importance of Music in Our Society

Art and music are basic human activities. Humankind can not really function without art and music. As humans we always strive to create things be they small or big. Also as humans we strive to create sound or get involved with sound in some way. People have always found meaning in music by playing, creating, listening to its emotions and to the challenges that it poses… Music, classical music in particular, has immense value for our society, whether it is known explicitly or not.It is however known worldwide that there is still a certain stigma that is attached to music by some people, it is not seen as a priority. Many people still believe for instance that classical music is for the rich, the old, or the educated. Even worse, the pretentiousness and elitism that some artists exhibit is amplified by television shows, commercials, plays, books, this distances musicians from society. While some of this stereotype may be near the truth, as with nearly any stereotype, it is not entirely true. Despite the influence that music has on society, the majority decide that music is not for them, simply because they believe it has no relevance. People need to believe that everyone can find enjoyment in music.The most common way one could involve himself or herself with music is by listening to or attending a concert. This is an experience that people can and do enjoy. It is also important because a concert venue creates a unique experience one can hardly find in any other place. Where else can one sit with other people and enjoy music in silence when there are no other distractions? There are so many things in music to which one can listen and bring attention. It is not only enjoyable but it stimulates and tickles the mind. One can call one’s attention to the melodies or to the themes, the harmony, the relaxing rhythms, the colour of the sounds, how the sounds are produced and how they all relate to each other, while trying to figure out how the composer contrived the piece. Classical music is not only pleasing to the ear and to the mind but it is also nurturing to the soul. It has been said that music has emotional value. Music affects one’s mood as it has many characteristics. Music in most cases makes people feel good and calm as well as evoking other emotional responses. It is the emotional response that draws most people to experience music. With classical music the listener has an array of options as to how to experience the music.Society at large can also experience music and can gain from it, in this case, music is usually experienced as a hobby. People play in community ensembles (orchestra, band, choir), take lessons, play, compose, and nearly do anything else a musician may do, while maintaining their regular lives. In general, to an amateur musician, music is important to him/her through enjoyment and through the thrill of playing or creating music and not having to commit the entire life to it. It is an important part of one’s life and fills a need or an urge to create music. Music can be a way of escape or a stress reliever as it can be for anyone.Through all levels of education music is extremely important. Students learn many important and necessary values for life as music challenges the mind. Learning to read music is learning a different language with abstract sonic meaning. One not only has to comprehend and decipher unique symbols on paper, one has to know how to execute them and execute them well. Those learning music also have to learn what sounds good and to develop a critical ear.With a critical ear, one knows how to practice, rehearse, analyze and to criticize a musicperformance. Also, performing music encompasses playing with others as well as alone which both necessitate certain skills. Also one can learn tremendously from studying/analyzing music, composing, reading about music, understanding the history of music and its association with historical and current trends, and knowing what to listen for in music.With all this, students of music, whether it be at the elementary, middle school, high school, at college level or studying alone, learn self discipline through study and practice. They develop technical motor skills, express themselves through sound and problem solving, cooperate and collaborate with others, ignite a creative mind, develop a critical mind that understands quality and taste, and most importantly understand that music has a lot to offer. Anyone who studies music learns some or all of these skills whether they know it or not. People who do not make a career in music but have studied it will take these skills and apply it elsewhere. Music is the only discipline in which obtaining varied skills is possible.It is a tragedy that in our society music is looked upon as an extra discipline that it is not essential to the function of our society and culture. It is usually regarded as a “fun” thing to do when one is not working and most people do not realize that one can experience and learn tremendous amount. It is up to us as artists and advocates of music to have people realize the importance of our discipline. With our society continually becoming more materialistic, superficial, quick to judge and with people not aware of its importance, it is possible that no one will be listening, no one will be watching, no one will be experiencing our art. People need to be shown the importance of our art and its value to them, especially those who have power to influence society. If society is shown the value of music, the arts will be better funded, better appreciated and will thrive even more.