What are parents really paying for in music lessons?

I love music. I spend most of my day in and around music. For as long as I can remember I have always dreamed in music. It has brought me all over the world and has taught me more than any other single thing. Music is the lens that I see the world through.

I see the value in music, but what about the parent who knows little about it. What compels parents to spend thousands of dollars a year on their children to learn music?

Is it the confidence children gain from performing in front of an audience? Is it the creativity they gain from the onslaught of problems when learning new music? Is it the discipline of practice or is it simply a love and understanding of music?

I want to know.

There is also the consumerism view that music lessons are a way to show social status. Is there some truth to this?

Yesterday, I saw up close what music is to one of my parents. Her daughter, let’s call her Mia, is usually reserved and afraid to show bravery and believe in herself. For months I’ve been pushing Mia to be more confident while giving every little adjustment possible to nurture her strengths.

Just yesterday, after nailing a difficult piece, Mia finished with a strong rolled chord, and threw her hands triumphantly into the air. The resulting music roared from the piano and hit me like a brick.

Speechless, I took ten seconds to think before asking Mia a simple question. “Can you ask your mom what she thinks of how you just played?” Returning to her normal demeanor she timidly turned around and asked her mother. Gleaming and eyes half-watering her mother said, “You look so beautiful when you play music with that much confidence. I love to see you look that way.”

Will that forever change the way Mia thinks of herself? How much is that worth?

Happy Mothers Day!


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