Music students ought to love music.

This is not a terribly controversial statement, but it is often seen as irrelevant. For some parents and teachers – and indeed in the Suzuki philosophy – the main idea behind music lessons is that the child develops character, reveling in the beauty of growth via feats of discipline. But while this is certainly a meaningful benefit of music lessons, it should not become the primary goal.

More efficient means of fostering discipline might include push ups or writing virtuous slogans across a blackboard. But the gift of appreciating music and having the ability to engage with it creatively is permanent and invaluable. We must therefore cultivate the skill of music listening as a practice in its own right – independent from music performance. Fortunately, we live in an age of unprecedented access to media spanning time and space. Pull up a tab of Youtube or Spotify, plug in your headphones, and push your kid down the rabbithole!