As a music teacher I often ask myself if we are truly preparing our students for success. I am not just referring to how well we teach the students to play their instruments, but more importantly if the students will take with them lessons/knowledge/experiences that will prepare them to be strong contributing members of any challenging discipline, and to any organization, in music and other areas of interest.
Approximately 70% of students in any youth orchestra will more than likely select a non-music related profession. Of the students who pursue music as a major in college, a strong percentage of them will end up pursuing a livelihood that is not centered around music.
So then, what skills will the young person take with him if he does not become a professional musician? … I began coaching chamber ensembles how to communicate and lead from within the ensemble, and play without a conductor. While the model was successful it required Team building aspects to make it whole. From this grew a set of core principles; Trust, Unfiltered Dialog, Commitment, Accountability, and Attention to Team Results.
This is also the critical issue with kids and sports, the main difference being that the percentage of kids who will not be professional athletes is closer to 100 than to 70.