So much about being a music teacher has changed in the past months. How’s that for an understatement of epic proportions?! Much of how we taught in the past has had to be altered. So many of the educational approaches in which we were trained have had to be adapted. Logistics have had to be redrawn. Limitations of space have taken on enormous consequences. Even the simplest task of correcting a student’s hand position – when confronted with social distancing or remote learning – must be rethought. The notion of rehearsing a concert band has had to take on a profoundly new shape. Yes indeed, so much has changed. Faced with all of this change it is easy to lose sight of what hasn’t changed. In fact, what has never changed, and what will never change. That which is all that really, truly matters. In 2013, long before our present-day pandemic, the remarkable music educator, musician, conductor, and advocate Richard Gill wrote these words. They are as true now as ever. They are as powerful now as ever. They are why we do what we do. May the words of this wonderful person stand as a reminder – now as ever – of our calling, our life’s work, and the importance of our purpose.

“We teach music because it is unique and good. We teach music so that children can make their own music. We teach music because it acts in a unique way on the heart, mind, soul and spirit of the child, stimulating thought and imagination in very special ways. These are the real reasons for teaching music.”

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America


About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”