Why Not Music?

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It was a beautiful Saturday morning. Stanley had woken up very early in anticipation of the day’s rehearsals with his school band. His voice had so mesmerized the band tutor that within two weeks of joining the band, he had been made the lead vocalist. No one who ever listens to Stanley sing would deny that the young lad was gifted and could be a music great if his potentials are well harnessed.

“I want you to be a lawyer.” Stanley’s dad said to him as he turned the door knob with his guitar slung over his right shoulder. “I cannot be a lawyer dad,” Stanley replied politely without turning around in a rather subdued voice, “I love music, I cannot be a lawyer. I don’t have interest in it. Music is where my passion is.”

His father’s face tightened, he had obviously become and angry and Stanley knew it. “I want you to be a lawyer young man.” His father bellowed at him. “I want you going to court to defend people. I want to be proud of you. I want to be the proud father of a lawyer. What is music and who recognizes a musician? You will be a lawyer and we are not having this conversation again

Later in life, Stanley never became a musician; he became a lawyer, but a miserable one. He never succeeded in law practice and the world never heard his songs. His voice had faded out like echoes from the distant past. The world indeed lost a gift. It lost a blessing from Heaven.

There are so many young minds out there in the shoes of Stanley. Their dream is to become a musician or a musicologist in future but unfortunately for them, this is not in tandem with the desire of their parents. The wish of many Parents is to see their Children become Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, Pharmacists, Engineers, Accountants or a computer Scientists. These to them are professions of great prestige.

Music has a lot of benefits and prospects. Below are some benefits and prospects of music:


Spatial-Temporal IQ — Researchers found that children given piano lessons improved 56% more in their spatial-temporal IQ scores than children who received computer lessons or no lessons. – Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994.

Better Behaviour – In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems. – Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.

Lowest Crime – Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998

Better Organized – Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives. – “Cassily Column,” TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.

Problem Solvers – Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills. – Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.


“Music making makes the elderly healthier. There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and loneliness following keyboard lessons. These are factors that are critical in coping with stress, stimulating the immune system, and in improved health. Results also show significant increases in human growth hormones following the same group keyboard lessons. (Human growth hormone is implicated in aches and pains.)”

Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999

Exercises Brain – Scientists have found that music involves the left, right, front, and back portions of the brain. –Donald Hodges, “Neuromusical Research.” Handbook of Music Psychology (San Antonio: IMR Press, 1996).

Lowers temp, blood pressure – Music can affect body temperature because of its influence on blood circulation, pulse rate, breathing, and sweating. Transcendent music and loud music can raise our body heat a few degrees, while soft music with a weak beat can lower it. – Don Campbell, the Mozart Effect (New York: Avon Books, 1997), 70-71.

Helps Stroke Patients – Researchers in Colorado found that stroke patients who were given rhythmic auditory stimulation a half hour a day for three weeks had improved cadence, stride, and foot placement compared with a control group. -Marwick, “Leaving Concert Hall for Clinic.” In The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell. (New York: Avon Books, 1997), 273.

Careers in Music

  • Composition
  • Composition
  • Contemporary Writing and Production
  • Electronic Production and Design
  • Film Scoring
  • Jazz Composition
  • Music Business/Management
  • Music Education
  • Music Production and Engineering
  • Music Therapy
  • Performance
  • Songwriting

Stanley in our introductory story could have turned out better if he had been allowed to purse his dreams. He could have been a renowned composer, a music director, or even a music lecturer in a university. But this was never to be. His future glory and happiness was sacrificed on the altar of his parent’s pride and ambition.

Over to you parents! What would you do for your child’s future? Wise or otherwise? If your child could study medicine, law and engineering, why not music?

By Mrs Adebayo

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