Behind Every Successful Student is a Teacher to Learn with
So much of music and music education is all about how it changes students forever and they become better people. But the effect of teaching music toward the teacher who endows her musical experience is rarely talked about, and that’s what this post is about.
A child can improve drastically with music and a good musical education—take note ‘good’ doesn’t necessarily equate to a well-known, prestigious music school, but the quality of teaching regardless of the prestige. And the improvement of a child’s artistic expression and cognitive development is usually an indicator of a really good teacher.
But we tend to overlook how this musical experience of being the one teaching music can actually create unforgettable experiences.
In my years of teaching, I’ve met and connected with AMAZING people. Students, parents, co-instructors have impacted my life significantly. They’ve truly become a community that I can treat as family, and I know I would not have found this amazing family had I not started a music school with my husband Paul.
Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about why I decided to do this music school with my husband Paul, and why it’s important to me. I’ll just get right into it!
If you’d rather watch me talk about this, you can do so below. Scroll further to read about how teaching music has changed my life as an instructor, a second mother, a person.
Growing Up and Discovering Music as a Child
I love teaching. When I was growing up, I had a music teacher who was an amazing impact on my life growing up. He was so much more than just a music teacher. He taught me so many things about music, music theory and singing, and everything that I could possibly know. He was my foundation for that.
But he was also a mentor in my life. He was there, he listened. He cared about me as a person. He cared about my growth. He helped motivate me. He helped learn about me, what my dreams and fears were, and he helped me in every single possible me. He challenged me.
That made such an impact in my life. I feel like that is the core, the foundation of who I’ve become as a person. And I want to give that to somebody else because I don’t know what I would be doing without him. (Shout out to Mr Ford!)
Having Someone to Lean on, Not Just for Music but for Life
That is so important to me, and I know that life is so difficult for people—there’s stress, there’s anxiety, there’s dark times and good times. And just feeling like there’s somebody there with you that can listen, that’s not going to judge you, that’s just going to love you and accept you… That is so important to me, to be able to offer this to my students now.
And Paul as well, feels exactly the same way. We want to be able to offer this to our students, more than just teaching them music. Because the music is wonderful, but we also care for them on a personal level. Whenever they come in into our studio, we always talk to them. We always see how their day is going, how everything is going because it’s so important.
Especially our voice students—their voice and their body is their instrument. And so if they’re stressed out about stuff, they’re really not going to be doing very well in their singing if there’s something on their minds. We will always take the time and put their emotional and mental well-being first.
The Pay-off of Teaching Music… and Teaching Anything, Really.
We just get to see them grow. We get to see them go crazy as far as how much they can grow with their confidence and their sound…
We get to see little connections in their brain every single time that we get to see them. And it’s amazing. It just gives me so much joy.
Learning Music and Reaping Its Benefits Applies to Adults Too!
But it’s not just for kids, too. Adults, this works for you as well! How amazing would it be to be able to go visit somebody every single week—they were there, they’re committed to you, and you could talk to them. They cared about you as a person, they wanted to see you grow, they really invested back into you. And they also helped you learn and perfect a new skill. I mean, that’s so awesome!
It’s not just about the kids this applies to. I feel like I would love to have something like this in my life—and I do in various ways. It’s all about being that for somebody else as well. Adults, kids, everybody, you name it.
Staying Fresh: Performing Professionally While Teaching
There’s also the fact that I still get to perform! Paul and I are still actively performing all around. Maybe not as much as if we weren’t doing a music school, we could travel around the country and doing things. But we travel around and perform enough that we stay fresh. We are still learning. We are always still learning. I think it’s so important that we’re always a student of life, and we will always be.
We are still learning. We are always still learning. I think it’s so important that we’re always a student of life, and we will always be.
And so we want to share that with our students. And also help them have the mindset that there’s never really an endpoint. You can always be going somewhere and growing in some way.
My Ikigai: How Teaching Music Became More than a Career, It’s a Life Purpose
That’s part of the reason why we love doing this music school, and me personally why I really love doing this and mentoring and teaching the children.
But also, we named it after my grandmother because she was so special to me. She came to every single audition. She came to every single performance that I had. And she supported me through it all. She let me practice at her house. Sometimes people would be like, “Oh Chelsea, you’re singing too loud!” or complain about me practicing. But she would always just welcome it at her home, so it was kind of a wonderful thing, a connection that we share.
She was musical as well—she played the piano, she sang. She taught me about that too. She taught me about piano, and singing and harmony. We just had a very, very special connection, especially through our music. She was just a special, beautiful, wondering, supportive loving woman. Her name was Ruth Evelyn Dryer, and so we named the music school ‘Red’, on her initials.
Paul feels the same way about her—but also his grandpa. It was Earl Chapel. He’ll tell you about that some other time, but we both had someone that was very special to us that we decided to honor in the music school. (Our Chapel series, that was named in honor of his grandfather.)
Music is a wonderful thing, it is innate as humans to appreciate music—that’s why babies and toddlers can appreciate music without having to be taught what it is. When you combine that with the wonders of teaching and how teaching can give purpose and meaning and so much love and connection to both teacher and student…
You get a combination of just creating wonderful things with other people regardless of age or musical know-how!
That’s it for now about why we’re doing what we’re doing and what we love about it. Thanks so much for reading, and go kick butt!