Are Musicians Truly Important?

Each day this week, The Savvy Musician Blog will unveil a new solution to our first challenge.  We asked music students from around the globe to respond to the following:

Are Musicians Truly Important? 

Most people would immediately agree that doctors, farmers, and teachers provide essential services to our communities.  But what about musicians?  Is our work vital?  What kind of important differences can we make?


Here are some reasons this question is beneficial:

  1. By understanding what is valuable about our work, it is possible to envision new opportunities.
  2. After identifying benefits, we can reflect on our own projects/careers to assess whether our time and energy is well spent.
  3. This challenge provides teachers and schools a chance to evaluate whether they consistently emphasize the most essential facets of music within their curricula.

In posing this challenge, my point was NOT to give ourselves a pat on the back by justifying the work we already do.  Instead, the hope was that participants would suggest unusual, non-intuitive, and perhaps provocative rationales.

I was also careful not to ask “why is music important?” (After all, the inherent values of music are set.  We can’t do much to change those, regardless of activities or intent.)  While an interesting query to be sure, I’m much more interested in the roles that musicians—with our unique skill sets—have the potential to play.  This broader question allows the possibility of either musical or non-musical solutions.  For example, if musicians are natural leaders, how can this trait be applied to other aspects of life?

All readers are encouraged to answer this challenge for themselves.  Is your work truly making our world a better place (in some small way)?  How?  What could you do to play a more valuable role? If your efforts are in fact making a positive difference, you will likely feel motivated, inspired, and empowered. Good luck!

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