Job interviewers, parents, teachers, colleagues, and even students are continuously asking the hardest question in our profession; “Why do we teach music?”. As music educators, it is important for us to have a prepared response and subsequent defense, and one that highlights all of the positive aspects of learning the art of music. Our own philosophies come from lifelong influences, such as previous teachers, parents, books, and society. They are our self-justification for our very existence. We must develop a personal philosophy of music learning, and answer the questions of Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
Every individual has a different core philosophy on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My philosophy is that music education lies right on the border between progressive necessity and preservation. I believe that music is necessary in our society for humans to maintain creativity, spontaneity, and art. It keeps us moving forward, as we strive to find better sounds, mediums, and styles to create something fresh and different. Music educators give students the tools they need to build these innovative ideas. On the other hand, music education serves to preserve classic art forms. By studying the masters and the evolution of popular sound, we hold on to traditions, cultures, and techniques that may otherwise fade away as generations pass. Because of the accessibility of recordings, students do not know how to play an instrument to enjoy music. My overarching philosophical question is why?