HOW A MIAMI MUSIC SCHOOL IS SHAPING A GENERATION OF CONTENT AND COMPLETE INDIVIDUALS
By Mark Meneses
Sound check has come and gone; all the instruments are tuned to perfect synchrony, and an airy mist leans over the stage. The lights dim, the amps rev, and the crowd cheers, anticipating a performance that will soak them in awe. It’s a scene not unknown to the students of Live! Modern School of Music, an institute in North Miami that teaches people of all ages the ins and outs of being a collaborative musician.
Music education is a sensible path on which to lead children and even adults. It has been proven that students who begin practicing an instrument get higher grades in school and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle at home. Not everyone, unfortunately, has the same opportunity to pick up a guitar and learn how to play, with school districts all over the country cutting out their creative arts programs—the trick is to know how to teach in a world where the creative arts seem to be diminishing. Miami seems to have found a solution.
Born in October of 2007, Live! Modern School of Music (Live! for short) has been a common ground for a collection of musicians and teachers involved in the local Miami music scene. It was founded on the idea that in order to teach an art, the student should be immersed in a community of artists with the same passions, so that they can learn firsthand what it is to actually be what they want to be. It gives children a haven for education, creativity, and leadership in an out-of-school environment.
Live! doesn’t just teach music—it teaches community. A sum of over 200 students and more than 12 teachers make up the school, allowing students to get to know their peers and educators both inside and out of the practice room. Students have the opportunity to become involved in projects from the school outward, and since the music school’s staff spans professional and distinguished musicians from all cultures and walks of life, students are certain to find their niche, and they are never expected to channel their creativity through only one genre or instrument.
This modern day music school reaches out to the community in various ways, from live shows to fundraisers and afterschool music programs. Students of the school have opportunities to start their own ensembles and perform the music they want in some of Miami’s greatest venues.
Maybe this music school is leading the new wave of creative education. With so many cuts and impediments in place in our public school systems, it seems like it is time for locals to reinforce the importance of teaching children and adults alike how to do what they love. The question is not whether teaching the arts is important—research and precedent has already showed us that it is—but rather how our communities can make it happen. Live! is an example of a community taking the initiative; many others should do the same.