This I Believe

Arturs - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on December 22, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity

I believe music is the answer. I’m just not entirely sure what is the question.

I am a music teacher in Chicago. I teach in a challenging area where the majority of the students are at or below the poverty line. Gang violence, drug culture, and domestic disturbances constantly rattle our students.

Somehow in the midst of this chaos, there’s music. I’ve been teaching violin, viola and cello students here for the last six years. Over that time, we’ve grown in size and in enthusiasm. It’s the enthusiasm that amazes and thrills me. “Can we play Mozart today?” I don’t remember which student said it first, but I’ll never forget hearing it. We’ve had students get scholarships to private schools in part because of their musical skills. We’ve had students interviewed by local television and newspapers.

What does all this mean?

It goes back to the question and answer. I know that music is the answer. Feed music to children and their starving curiosity and intellect won’t be sated, but instead become hungrier for more. When so many things in and around their lives are emotionally and intellectually harsh and bitter, music is the savory and sweet sustanence which helps keep them in school.

I still don’t know what the question is…but I aim to find out.