It is undeniable that there is growing awareness of the importance of music education in schools and the positive impact it has on the lives of students. But even with this honorable efforts, music education today would not exist without the tireless efforts of music teachers.

Teachers are generally not held with the esteem given to individuals in other professions. Even worse, music teachers are often not given the same recognition as other teachers, placing them even lower in the professional food chain.

girl being taught to play instrument
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But like many unfair circumstances in the world, this is no indication of the impact that these selfless individuals have on children’s lives and their communities. Oftentimes, though, it’s their students that give the positive feedback they need to keep doing what they do.

Geddy Lee, frontman of popular band Rush, is one of them.

Rush frontman Geddy Lee says music saved him in many respects as a youngster dealing with teenage angst and the death of his father.

“It was one of the first things I found that I was really good at doing,” recalls the vocalist, bassist and keyboardist. “I was kind of a medium kid in every other aspect. Via The Star

So what role did his teacher play in making this happen?

Some people are simply born to be in the arts but it takes a good teacher to recognize, encourage and foster that in an engaging way, says Lee. Via The Star

In showing their appreciation of music teachers, Geddy, and fellow Rush members Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were the sole sponsors of this year’s MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, which went to Don Bosse, a music teacher at Fredericton High School.

a music teacher conducting a music lesson
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Rush surprised Bosse last week in Toronto, presenting him with his award while he was shopping for his attire for the Juno Awards.

“He was pretty freaked out,” says Lee. “I think it’s a really important award. People that toil away on a daily basis trying to inspire kids to follow their dream, I think that’s a really important job.” Via The Star

There’s another music teacher in London making a difference to the cause of music education. Her name is Barbary De Biasi, and though she runs a music school, she is still concerned that music education is not given the attention it deserves in schools.

In her effort to change this, she recently offered a week of free piano lessons at St Pancras station. The 15-minute lessons targeted people of all ages. She wanted to highlight some of the issues preventing people from learning musical instruments, including cuts to arts funding, pressure on children to focus more on the sciences and tuition fees for music colleges.

She said: “There is an idea that if you go into the arts you will end up penniless and under a bridge. You might not make millions like a banker, but your life will be just as rich. You can’t tell a 10-year-old to get into maths and forget about the arts — it’s wrong.”

Ms De Biasi, who is from Pisa and now lives in Morden, studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. “I would not have been able to afford to go to music college if I had to pay the fees they charge now,” she said. “The thought of that debt would have put me off.” Via Standard

Yet another music teacher making her mark in music education is Nancy Williams, a pianist and hearing health advocate. She helps music students with hearing loss by empowering music teachers with the knowledge they need to make their learning experience not only possible but valuable.

piano lesson in progress
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

In the early years of my adult piano lessons, whenever I played forte chords in my piano teacher’s soundproofed practice room, my hearing aids squealed with feedback. I cringed. I was afraid that if my teacher discovered I had a hearing loss, he would decide I was hopeless as a pianist. So I tried to hide my condition, from my teacher and, at some level, even from myself.

Six years later, I debuted in a master class recital in Carnegie Hall wearing my hearing aids. That appearance precipitated my career as a national speaker and pianist. When I deliver my workshop on claiming passion despite hearing loss, I frequently perform my classical repertoire on the piano. Via NAfME

These are just three of the thousands of music teachers around the world making a difference in the lives of their students. In fact, most of the teachers out there may never get the recognition they deserve, but it doesn’t change the fact that they deserve it.

Cheers to music teachers everywhere! You make the world a better place.

Featured Image: Image Credit

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