The social impact of music – Héctor Mendoza

I would like to begin with a phrase from Mozart.

“Music is the only way to the transcendent.”

But why use music as a tool?

Music can be the spark that ignites all areas of intellectual, social, emotional, motor, language, and literacy development. In fact, music is a great organizational art that helps the body and mind work together.

Children are attracted to patterns and musical structures. They demonstrate it in many ways, such as clapping with a song and making hand movements on special occasions. Likewise, music introduces children to the sounds and meanings of words and helps to strengthen their memory skills. Music provides an opportunity for your child to interact with other children and with cherished people. Because music is such a complete learning experience, the more you involve your children with it, the more they learn.

The child entering a musical group is projected with a noble identity that makes him a model of development for his family and community, transforming him into a better student in his regular studies, because of the infused sense of responsibility, constancy, punctuality, and discipline.

In the family sphere, the unconditional support of the parents and the whole family stands out, constituting a model. This is an important idea: for the family to start looking for new paths of individual and collective improvement, the child must also aspire with their family to conquer social and economic improvements and everything that forms constructive and upward social dynamics.  Consequently, the child begins to consider new dreams, new goals, and the desire to enrich himself based on the multiple opportunities that open around him.

Finally, places are created in the community that serve as creative spaces of culture, and sources for the exchange of new ideas.  From the moment the child acquires an instrument and receives knowledge and guidance from the hand of a teacher, the child becomes a child with an attitude towards a professional level of action that makes him a full citizen.

Every musical organization is in essence much more than an artistic structure; it is a model and school of social life, because singing and playing together means to live together in an endearing way, pursuing perfection and striving for excellence. It is a rigorous discipline of articulation and concentration in seeking harmony and interdependence between voices and instruments.

It thus becomes a preventive tool for everything that violates or degrades the lives of children.

Music must be recognized as a social agent of development, because it conveys the highest values of solidarity, harmony, and mutual compassion. It has the ability to unite an entire community and express sublime thoughts.

I have chosen to quote the name that represents the childlike genius, the child prodigy who at the age of 5 years old had the first sonatas to his credit, and with a weight of his unquestionable talent, recognized that genius is found in all and every single child. That is precisely the core of my philosophy. This sentence with which I say goodbye belongs to him*:

“Neither a sublime intelligence, nor a great imagination, nor the two things together form the genius: Love, that is the soul of genius.”

-Héctor Mendoza, Venezuelan composer; studied with Blas Emilio Atheortua and Juan Soublete; percussionist playing in an orchestra since I have memories; and conductor from “El Sistema”, educational paradigm using music as a tool for social change.

*Note from the Editor: Mozart’s work speaks to the volume and greatness of his genius, which is not the product of solely intelligence and imagination.  His genius speaks of love, amidst the wit and creativity, and that has deep social ramifications.  The quote is recognized online as misattributed, but even if this is true, the spirit of the phrase and of the entire post remains, as it was written with regard to Mozart.

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