I hope everyone is settling back into Term 2, and ready to kick their music goals into action!
As some of you may know, my girlfriend is a dancer. And I find myself many many times waiting for her, and brainstorming blog ideas whilst she is finishing her dance lesson. I figured – it’s time to put my observation goggles on, and look around for the connections between music and dance.
Essentially, what I’ve come to see is that both music and dance rely on one fundamental element – movement. We can observe this from both an active and a passive approach. And so for today’s post, I have jotted down 3 similarities, and 3 differences between music lessons and dance lessons, and what it says about your values if you take both (this is from a guy who has taken both at the same time before!):
- Emotion - We listen to music, because we want to find something that moves us emotionally, that calms us down, or that boosts our energy. Similarly with dance, we watch dancers because of the artistry of performance, and when they move gracefully, it connects to how we should move forward in our lives
- Expression – Everyone has a creative voice. From an active perspective, we play music to feel fantastic, to express our core message and values, and share an experience with others. Similarly with dance, we dance to express a particular emotion, to put on a performance, and to connect with our social circle.
- Achievement – From a teacher’s perspective, this is something that I see quite often from my students – all guitar students want to progress, and hit little milestones along the way. With many dance companies such as Marshere and Rhythemics offering performance courses, it is also evident that many dance students want that acknowledgement that they are on the path to success – a quick medal night or achievement day is enough to get the creative juices flowing again, as we have mastered a style of music. Persistence and consistency drives us towards achievement.
- Delivery – many dance lessons are delivered in a casual, informal group style, with the emphasis on routines and mastering sections together. Community learning helps dancers learn from each other, as they dance with each other, with opportunity to focus on technique in private music lessons. A lot of music schools, including Leaders of Rock, focus on private music lessons because of the personal nature of finding your own musical voice. There are some opportunities to come together as a group, for example, a rock band or a choir, but finding that individual voice has been one of the main goals of music schools. Not a bad thing – just different.
- Variety – Dancers like to mix things up. With styles such as cha cha, rumba and salsa, steps are different depending on the background music that is being chosen. You can correct me if I’m wrong in the comments below, but I believe as a dancer, we are reacting to the stimuli around us – in this case, music – and moving our body based on how we feel. When beginning guitar lessons, on the other hand, people almost exclusively stick to one style first to develop technique. Whether it be mainstream contemporary music or classical music, the cross-over of different music genres are not as clear in the beginning years of guitar (especially primary school).
- Appearance – Unless you’re a rocker, you don’t really dress up to play guitar – you just kinda show up as you are (although, different types of music lends itself to different fashion styles). Dancers put a lot of effort getting themselves made up. Whether it is the shoes that they buy, or the make-up catalogue they look through, dancers want to look good to dance their best self on the night. Where people attend music concerts with the main aim of listening to the music, people attend dance concerts with the main aim of being moved by the physical dance performance.
And there you have it – musings from an advanced guitarist-turned-beginner dancer as he draws connections between his instrument, his music, and life around him.
Because music is everywhere.
Do you agree?
Justin and Team Roc