I believe

I believe in music.I believe in music for the sake of music.
I believe music transcends all other academic areas of study because of its beauty, power, drama, excitement, tension, grace, intensity, humor, majesty, sorrow, integrity, and joy.
I believe in playing, writing, teaching, and conducting music for the joy of it.
I believe in teaching music.
I believe in sharing music.
I believe that music education teaches lessons that shape and transform the lives of students.
I believe in saving the world one note and one student at a time.
I believe that for some students in an ensemble, music becomes a very important and valuable bi-product.
I believe every rehearsal is another opportunity to tap music’s soul and infuse it into the life of a student.
I believe our joy should come out at least once every rehearsal.
I believe that we should teach music that engages, challenges, and stretches the learner.
I believe that we should share music that nourishes the musician.
I believe that we should perform music that excites and intrigues the listener – whether in the group or in the audience.
I believe the trust and honesty between conductor and ensemble is one of the most cherished relationships in the world.
I believe that music and life should never be lived mezzo-nothing.
I believe Darwin was wrong – there is no way music could have evolved without the grace of God.
I believe that God gave us music…and that at heart He is a tuba enthusiast and player.
I believe that through music I will have all the friends I will ever need.
I believe in the music that I write.
I believe in the music of others, and have no problem telling the rest of the world exactly why.
I believe that parts of the creative process are still a mystery – and I love when it strikes me.
I believe that I have yet to find the notes to my best piece.
I believe my best ideas come 30 seconds before my next class starts….argh.
I believe that rules in music stimulate creativity.
I believe that music education is changing.
I believe that people who argue music education at the semantic level to determine whose words and philosophy are “right” don’t know how to teach music anymore – and I am not sure they still have the joy either.
I believe some of the groups that represent music are starting to lose their tenacity and passion in favor of having rules that protect them from getting sued or making a decision.
I believe that conductors who publicly put down music and composers that do not meet their “aesthetic” are doing nothing more than building another wall for their impenetrable ivory tower.
I believe the most important names in a concert program are listed under each section of instruments – not the name that precedes “conductor”.
I believe that a professional wind ensemble has earned the right to play the Grammys one year.
I believe we need less analysis at the half of college football games, and more marching band footage.
I believe that all televised parades need less “witless” commentary from talk show hosts and B List Actors – let the music of the bands do the talking.
I believe that great conductors love great music.
I believe that every composer needs a conductor that champions their music.
I believe you should congratulate an ensemble when they do a good job – even if they are not your group.
I believe that the only deal to be made with parents is that you will teach their child, you will treat them fairly, and that you will help them learn to love music.
I believe education about entertainment by music both have a place at a concert.
I believe that your musical goals must be worthy of your students’ commitment.
I believe music auditions are a test of our growth, not our worth.
I believe that music has humbled me.
I believe the tears that music has brought me have been for the right reason at the right time.
I believe that I know enough about music to know I don’t know enough about music yet.
I believe that I don’t completely know who I am as an advocate, composer, conductor, and educator – and I am not scared to find out.
I believe music.

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  1. Preach it Brother! This will be posted on my office door Monday morning.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Ken! We all need to believe just a little bit more.

  3. Great post Travis! As always it reminded me of some things I would like to convey more everyday to those I come in contact with. I also appreciated your willingness to acknowledge our creator as a musical advocate. -V

  4. Travis,

    Great Post. Honest, Useful, Needed. This was heart-felt and I hope that many will read it and think about these things as I feel that in the U.S., we are at a cross-roads for our ARTS programs in the schools and we all need to be reminded of these things…

    All People need to believe in what we do, better yet our MUSIC TEACHERS need to believe in what they do! It’s to easy to get caught up in the day-to-day swamp of despair…

    Keep the faith!

    J. Pisano -MusTech.Net

  5. Great stuff! A ton of great thoughts there. This is one post I’ll have to come back to again and again.

    I especially appreciate the thought that “our joy should come out at least once every rehearsal.” I’ve been mulling over a post on this theme… mind if I reference you?

  6. Reference away! And thanks for stopping by!


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