Hope you guys are staying amazing this week.
Something I haven’t quite mentioned is my new appetite for exercise. I gave it a go with my girlfriend a few months ago, and now am beginning to see how like-minded musicians and sportspersons can be. I’m slowly beginning to transform my physical health, and things haven’t looked brighter!
Today I want to share 3 similarities and 3 differences of music lessons and sports, and as a guitar-teacher-turned-beginner-sports-junkie, I hope that any of these values resonate with what you believe to be true about both aspirations.
- Habits – sports and music lessons share so many buzzwords – exercises and practice are two of the most common words I hear from guitar students who also take sports as an activity. Parents are well-meaning, because in the end, everyone knows that it is the marginal effort that you put into activity that counts.
- Achievement – everyone wants to kick goals, and strive for success. Students that study guitar and sports together know that failure is a great teacher, and it is always about keeping the end in mind and remembering your why in order to succeed. The trophies that we get at the end of sports carnivals can be equivalent to the certificates we receive from music exams – although, I think the deeper meaning is in the constant striving for a goal, which can manifest itself in different ways.
- Teams – everybody likes to do stuff together. The strategies that we apply collectively on the sports ground, as we claw our way point by point, is a form of co-operation, and a team building exercise like none other. Similarly, when we play as a band, we have to use our ears to listen to one another, learn when to step back and when to go forward to create something greater than ourselves.
- Competitiveness – Sports has a huge winning culture, where success is actualised by beating another team. Sports like the AFL also encourage a ladder system, where teams escalate up and down based on their performance, and with incentives to drive them up. Unless it’s a battle of the band competition, music lessons rarely lead towards the same competitiveness as sports does, with the emphasis on winning spiritually, and feeling fulfilled finding one’s personality in music.
- Importance in curriculum – Ok, I’ve said it, sports dominates our kids’ school lives way more than music does, especially in Australia. It is said in the secondary sector that the average kid has 5 periods of sport, with external sports commitments on the weekends as well (in the country anyway). Apart from the one-hour music lesson, most students that learn instruments like guitar have to sustain their own practice habits on their own. Perhaps that is a call-to-action for music schools to conduct group lessons, to broaden the music opportunities together.
- Learning environment – Sports practice is usually played outdoors, whilst music lessons is usually conducted indoors. This usually lends itself to different learning styles – those that are more “hands-on” and practical may find a greater physical release in sports, whilst those that are more shy and reflective may turn to music for reflection and personal development.
From what I see from our young people, there are countless opportunities to get involved, and learn from both sports and music. There is no right or wrong pathway to either, but as a parent and an educator, you can spot patterns in your child’s behaviour, and what they value the most.
A great sports anthem also unites a clan together, proving that music is everywhere.
Sing it loud, sing it proud, and have a go at your passions today!
Justin and Team Roc