What’s Missing in Music Education?

We’ve all heard the fairytale before. The one about the young child who plays a piano (or whatever instrument) for the first time, and in some magical way, beautiful music flows out as if the two were made for each other.

Well, that wasn’t me.

I was the kid who tried to quit band for years to no avail against the seemingly-ruthless authority that I called, “Mom.” And years later, I’m glad she didn’t let me quit. Turns out, the reason I loathed practicing was because I didn’t understand the benefit of music or how it related to my life. Then, one day a few years later, as if a light bulb switched on, I stopped thinking of myself as a music student and started thinking of myself as a musician.

Flash forward sixteen years. I now have two degrees in music and have made a career out of performing and teaching. So, what changed in me, and how can that help others in the same boat? Well, after years of teaching and studying music, I’ve searched for answers to those questions a lot. And as a result, I have developed a vision to create an educational community of musicians making musicians that will be an optimal environment for students to foster the love of music performance. We’re calling it Vibe Music Academy, and I’m thrilled that it will be launching this Fall in the North-Indianapolis area.

You see, I’ve realized that the most critical component of music education - which is unfortunately lacking in the majority of music ed. programs around the country - is experiences. The more ways students experience music, the deeper they connect with it, and the more often they reach their potential as musicians. That's why we want Vibe Music Academy to offer a multitude of ways for our students to engage in music.

Here are a few of the ways that our students will get the full experience of music at Vibe:

  • Performing frequently. The richest musical experiences take place on the bandstand, not in a class or a practice room.
  • Playing in a band. The growth that happens within a student while playing in an ensemble is priceless to their development as a musician.
  • Writing music. There are few musical accomplishments more fulfilling and educational than experiencing your own music performed.
  • Learning from the pros. Throughout the year, we’re going to bring in professional musicians on the local and national scale to lead masterclasses for our students.
  • Seeing how it’s done. We’re also going to organize and promote group outings to some of Indianapolis' best music performances.

Needless to say, I’m excited about starting this venture. These are the types of experiences that I was totally lacking during my first few years playing an instrument. I was fortunate enough to make it to the other side, but I’ve seen and heard from countless others who never experienced the truly rich, life-giving benefit of a continual involvement in playing music. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who can play an instrument or sing that wishes they wouldn’t have spent the time learning to do so.

How you can get involved in Vibe Music Academy:

Join our community.

Stay in touch.

- John Gotsis, Owner and Music Instructor at Vibe Music Academy