How Music Turned Me Into An A+ Student
By Tony Margiotta
I was an average child when it came to grades and test scores in elementary school. I did some homework, studied a little, but I was bored out of my mind. Probably like a lot of your children. Nothing seemed to interest me when it came to school. Then I discovered the guitar. My life was changed forever.
I expressed interest in learning the guitar to my mom. She grew up studying the organ and knew the type of discipline and commitment it took to learn a musical instrument. Since my grades weren’t the best, she wasn’t supportive in the beginning.
I kept on talking about learning the guitar for about a year. I was finally able to convince her to take me to a music store where they sold instruments. And there it was, hanging up on the wall.
It was a bright and shiny red guitar. When the salesman picked up that guitar and started playing it, I can’t express to you how excited I got. I begged my mom to buy this guitar. I couldn’t leave the store without it.
Again, my mom spent many years studying the organ and knew the commitment that I would have to make to learn how to play the guitar. She was certainly a bit hesitant. So she made a deal with me.
She said, “Tony, if you buy the guitar with your own savings, I’ll pay for the guitar lessons. But you have to take the lessons or you can’t buy the guitar.” She would not have allowed me to spend my own savings on something that I couldn’t commit to. So I agreed, and the lessons began.
By the time I went off to high school, I was still somewhat in the average category, (A’s, B’s and C’s with an occasional D). But I will tell you that my interest in school and the subjects that I studied seemed more interesting to me than I had remembered before.
I started to grow a fascination for how things worked. I wanted to understand things. What was happening behind the scenes during this period, was that I was practicing my guitar, reading music, and learning music theory.
I will be honest with you here. I didn’t kill myself with hours and hours of homework when I went home after school. I went home and practiced my guitar everyday. But something big had changed.
I was doing very well on my tests in English, Math, and Science, (Mostly A’s and B’s).) I was now getting on the Honor Roll. There was definitely an improvement.
Though I didn’t enjoy my alarm clock buzzing at 6 in the morning to wake me up and prepare for school, I did look forward to going to school everyday. I was happy to be there. To be learning. This was also a big change to my previous behavior of dreading the idea of going to school everyday.
My sister on the other hand, used to come home everyday and study for hours and still couldn’t get the grades that I was getting. She used to say to me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it Tony. You hardly ever study and you’re always on the Honor Roll.”
My sister made me wonder how I could study little but still got good grades and be on the Honor Roll. In high school, I felt that at the end of every class, I understood and remembered the material that my teacher explained. So when I went to Study Hall which was the Free Period, I would do most of my homework and studying within a 45-minute period of time.
Now I don’t want to give you the impression that I never studied or did my homework at home. Sometimes I did bring a book or two. Or I had to write a paper here and there at home. But I was able most of the time to complete my daily homework and studies during the Free Period.
Then I went off to college. My ability to learn fast, retain more information, and hunger for knowledge increased more and more. I was on the Dean’s List every semester for FOUR years with very high grades. I even earned a 4.0 Grade Point Average several times, which is all A’s for every course. The same thing happened when I went to Graduate School and earned my Master’s Degree.
So how did I go from being an average and bored student to an A+ student with a strong hunger for knowledge?
I can tell you without a doubt it was because I learned how to play a musical instrument. Now I am not a psychologist or even an expert in education. But I can promise you that my life would have turned out differently if I didn’t learn music. I would have been just “average” at best.
Since finishing school, I have always had a good paying job. I moved out of Mom and Dad’s house and have been independent ever since. I pay my own bills. I have my own apartment. I’ve developed a solid reputation in my career and networking has opened me up to many other opportunities. Wouldn’t you like your child to have the same success as me?
Ok. So I’m finished with the bragging. I just wanted to share with you the effects of music on my personal educational development and how it helps me even today, in the world economy and the recession that lurks over it.
My advice to you as a parent is to help your child reach that A+ status by getting them involved in music. If your child is already an A+ student and you’re looking for an extracurricular activity for her, you’ve come to the right place.
I will tell you however, that music training is NOT an extracurricular activity. It’s an essential part of a student’s foundation for learning. Even if your child is already an A+ student, music will still enrich her life and take her intellect to even higher levels.
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