Why Teach Music?
by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser
Music is a science.
It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.
Music is mathematical.
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
Music is a foreign language.
Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French; and the notation is certainly not English but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.
Music is history.
Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation, often even the country and/or racial feeling.
Music is physical education.
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.
Music is all these things, but most of all, music is art.
It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate; humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.
Why is Music Taught?
Not because we expect our students to major in music.
Not because we expect them to play or sing all their life.
Not so they can relax. Not so they can have fun.
But so they will be human. So they will recognize beauty. So they will be sensitive. So they will be closer to an infinite beyond this world. So they will have something to cling to. So they will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good –– in short, more life. Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?
Message from the Director
Here at Vista Del Lago High School, we believe that music has a profound power to influence the character, spirit, and mind of our students. Students that choose to pursue music are often more involved in school activities, achieve higher grades and academic success, and develop better interpersonal skills than their peers. Our mission is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to study music, and to develop their appreciation for the discipline it takes to create any great work of art.
Students who learn music through our program not only learn how to share their music with others, but also develop an appreciation for the skill that it takes to create art in any discipline. Music is not only something beautiful to listen to and create, but also a window into our own humanity. Every culture on earth has music as a central part of its traditions, often to mark the important events as they come to pass: changing seasons, birth, death, celebrations, even as a competition for choosing new leaders.
Our approach to the music-making process is founded in the belief that the performance of music must be of the highest caliber in order to fully experience music as an art. Striving toward this standard of excellence is a hallmark of our program, as are our students who endeavor to achieve that excellence. Participation in our program is not a requirement for high school graduation. These are activities that we choose to do, and the rewards are great for those who persevere.
We recognize that many of the students who graduate from our high school will not pursue a future career in music. Our goal is not to be a music-major factory. Instead, we hope to, in a brief span of four years, transform each student into a lifelong patron of the arts; one who values and appreciates the level of creative discipline required to create and share various art forms. It is our hope that our graduates will continue to cultivate their love for the arts, and share their talents with others. THIS is our mission.
The band, orchestra and color guard program is a place of friendship, pride, devotion, learning, and fun from the football stadium to the concert hall. We hope to provide our students with lessons and memories that will form a brighter, more euphonious future
Director of Instrumental Music