I was watching Treme earlier this week and Antoine said something to a kid that made me smile. "Every jazz musician was in the school band. It's where you learn." Later on his co-teacher said that their band was about "More than music." It sounds so trite when boiled down to those two sentences from an HBO show, but it really says something about what I spend my days doing.
My students are currently preparing for their concerts next week. Yes, we are working on our music and I want them to be memorized and we are making some attempts towards real musicality at points. We've spent hours learning correct pitches and rhythms (and some learned incorrectly that we're trying to fix!) and working on lyrics in English, Latin, Spanish and Italian. However, it's about also learning to be a part of something. Learning to be respectful to the other musicians and the audience. It's about learning to listen, respond and strive towards something more. So when my kids were singing Mozart today, it was about singing Mozart. But it was also about so much more that they don't even understand yet.