Music is a science. It is exact, it is specific and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.
Music is mathematical. It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
Music is a foreign language. Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French; and the notation is certainly not English - but a highly-developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.
Music is physical education. It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheeks and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back and stomach muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.
Music is all these things, but most of all, MUSIC IS ART. It allows the human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. This one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling emotion, call it what you will.
That is why we teach music!
Not because we expect you to major in music.
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life.
But, so you will be human, so you will recognize beauty, so you will be closer to something beyond this world, so you will have something to cling to, so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good - in short - more life.