Why You Should Embrace Music History

It isn’t difficult to see why music education is so important for young people.

Not only is it an enjoyable and enriching experience but it has been proven time and time again that music education can improve language development, spatial-temporal skills, and even improve test scores across seemingly unrelated subjects.

Music history, however, is fast becoming a neglected subject within music education. So why is music history important?

Here’s what we think:

✔ It provides context.

When approaching a new work, the lack of detail can make it difficult to know what the composer had intended. Understanding the historical context of a piece can help us to make sense of a score which was written during a time much different from our own.

✔ It is key in becoming a well-rounded musician.

In order to encourage uniqueness and creativity in our students, we need to give them an education which is thorough enough to allow them true freedom of choice later in life. The more information we have available to us, the more options we have when pursuing a career in music.

✔ It keeps music human.

When we are young, classical composers often seem distant - old men in wigs who may or may not have actually existed. It is important to remember that every composer we know today was a living, breathing human being with thoughts and desires much like our own. Being able to connect with a composer on a human level is the first step in building a strong and convincing interpretation of his/ her work.

✔ It teaching us to be appreciative

Every time we pick up our instrument to play, we are building on the experience of everyone who came before us. Learning to appreciate what has been passed down to us is vital in keeping classical music alive, inspiring us to continue the exploration of music for future musicians and music lovers.

This is why we want to encourage teachers to embrace music history.

Why is music history important to you?