Skip to content

Readings: The Monk and the Riddle

Over the weekend, I engrossed myself with this book that introduced one key concept:

Passion vs Drive

Passion – pulls you towards something you cannot resist.

Drive – pushes you towards something you feel compelled or obligated to do.

Well most people in their initial stage of studying music studied based on drive, as not many people are prodigal who can develop their passion when they are young, and pull themselves to practice the piano.

There are different reasons for children to be driven at a young age in musical performance, example, my friend is so driven (forced by parents), that he completed his grade 8 music by the age of 12. However, he developed a phobia of the piano that led him in covering the piano with cloths to disguise its looks as he had developed a phobia after practicing 4-6 hours daily. Although my friend had overcame the phobia, however it lasted for 6 years, thus I think this is very unhealthy.

I think, parents should allow their kids to develop the passion on their own, with their music teachers, and not drive them to play music for the sake of exams, as there may be a chance that they hate music, and may never go towards perfecting their art, or trying to learn to be better in it.

What do you think?




Music education = arts + science?

Since day 1,  as I step into the role as a music educator,  I was always wondering whether music is a mystical idea, as there were many ideas like, just practice, and you will get there.

I was always thinking can music be less of an art then a science?

I had read a few books, communicated to other music educators, reflected through my music education that I had, I had a better understanding that music is not something only for the elites, or for the musically inclined, it is for everybody who have an interest in music.

Music is more of like a melting pot of science ideas coming together, when played rapidly / slowly in tune with your emotions, that is when people commented that it is an art.

When I am referring to science, its not just science in general, but it is a generic idea of math, science, language merging together.

Math is inherent in music lessons, as there is a need to use basic math to calculate the rhythm of the music, to calculate the position of the musical notes etc.

Science is also inherent in music lessons, it mainly focus on physics, whereby the arm / hand movements, to facilitate the playing of music that seems impossible.

Language is also inherent in music. Taking for example, the most common phrasing in music is the four bar phrasing (similar to paragraph), and that when the music modulates (changes its key) it was always require a cadence (similar to a full stop). When the music starts in a new phrase, it will usually be in the tonic chord (example starting with the capital letter). Thus, there are a lot of borrowed ideas from the music to language or vice versa.

I believe that there are many ways of learning music, and I am still in the midst of exploring the uncharted regions of the music, and trying to develop a simplified way of understanding music through communication with other music practitioners and music / education books to understand more about music education.

This will be a blog that will charter all my comments and understanding about music education, thus helping me to improve my own music teachings for the next batch of students.