“I quit because I wasn’t good enough….”
I often think we “in the arts” are our own worst enemy when it comes to advocating for arts in K-12 education, let alone for pursuing any art form as an adult. Not being “good enough” is another of the major reasons that adults have identified as to why they stopped making music as a kid. If asked “good enough for whom”, they typically list “for my mom; for my teacher; and/or for myself”.
Setting some sort of “quality” standard, emphasizing competitions ,or challenging first chair orchestra positions results in the sense that only certain people with certain skills are good enough to “make art”. Nevertheless, as adults we all create things every day; we can’t help it, simply because that is what makes us human. All youngsters need a wide variety of art/crafts experiences throughout their K-12 education to introduce them to the many ways they can create their world around them, be it through painting, music, dance, wood working, jewelry making, pottery, cooking, and more.
The point of this exposure should be to pique curiosity, to make connections with others, to experience a sense of personal accomplishment, and to engender a confidence to later pursue these activities as adults for self-satisfaction. A very, very few people in each of these media may rise to the level of “a great artist”, but the vast majority of us don’t.
Should we just quit?
At The Shedd music-making is a non-competitive, non-contact sport! So if your appetite has ever been whetted to try a new instrument, to sing, or to pick up where you left off, talk to us about lessons. At The Shedd, the only person that matters is the student. When he or she is having a great time and feeling fulfilled making music, that is good enough!