Why is music important? We think about that question a lot at Rock Dojo. That’s because music classes are often the first programs cut when public schools make funding cuts. For that reason, I put together a series of interviews with leading music educators, musicians, and artists to talk about the benefits of music education.
In today’s edition of “Why Is Music Important,” I sat down with blues guitar master and music educator Matt Bennick to discuss the benefits of learning to play the guitar or any other musical instrument.
About Matt Bennick
At the age of seven, Matt Bennick began playing the guitar. He honed his chops as a student of blues guitar legend Clarence Spady. His unique style is a blend of funk, jazz, and soul with a strong blues influence. In 2009, Matt won The Guitar Center Scranton’s King of the Blues award. His guitar playing is most often compared to Robben Ford and Larry Carlton.
How has playing the guitar changed your life?
Matt sees some fascinating parallels between learning a musical instrument and life. Here are the top five lessons Matt spoke discussed:
- Music can teach you how to handle mistakes: Matt says, “When you play a wrong note, isn’t that a lot like making a mistake in life?” Matt adds, “Well, play a new note.”
- Music is a symphony just like life: Like many young guitarists, Matt was hyper-focused on the guitar when listening to records when he first started playing. As he matured, however, he began to realize other instruments were playing. Matt says, “It’s like playing on a team. You have to pay attention to what everyone else is offering.”
- Music can teach you about intention. “When you play music,” Matt says, “you have choices to make just like in life. The notes are the content. The choices you make.”
- Music can teach you how to learn: “If I want to go fly fishing,” Matt says, “someone has to teach me that. Then I got to go practice that.” In other words, the process of learning how to play a musical instrument teaches musicians how to learn anything.
- Music teaches musicians how to respect different perspectives: “I remember being a teenager making fun of musicians in a cover band,” Matt says. “Years later, I found myself in a cover band. I realized this is hard work. The leader is out there hustling for gigs. The musicians are playing until three in the morning.”
How can parents integrate music education into the child of their kids?
Foremost, Matt believes music lessons should be fun. He does that by tying guitar lessons to the students’ goals and interests utilizing priority practice such as scales and chords as a warm-up and cool down. That way, students learn the fundamentals of music theory and guitar playing almost effortlessly. “I make the not-so-fun stuff fun,” Matt says.
Online Guitar Lessons for Kids
If you’re ready to get your child started playing the guitar the right way, then it’s time to sign up for the Rock Dojo on-demand guitar lessons. The Rock Dojo’s on-demand guitar lessons for kids bring the benefits of music education directly to your home at a fraction of the cost of traditional guitar lessons. The white belt level is the first of five guitar curriculums for kids. Over the course of twelve video lessons, students learn the foundations of playing the guitar that will last them a lifetime. Sign up today!