Academics » Music


Message from Mr. Alex, IIA Music Teacher


As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your kids. For this reason, many of us rush to put our kids into private music lessons because we have heard that it is the right thing to do. What happens next? A few months go by and our child no longer wants to practice. Now the parent is left with a choice: either make them practice, or allow them to move on to another hobby. 

How did it come to this? What was in the heart and mind of the child when they excitedly played their instrument for the first time, but is now missing?

The answer is Inspiration.

How do you inspire a child? The answer is actually very simple: they must hear the music.

I have a colleague whose father asked Yo-Yo Ma if he would teach his son the cello. Yo-Yo Ma looked at him and said: he doesn’t need to study with me, he just needs to listen to my recordings. At first the father was perplexed, but the more he thought about it the more he realized that Yo-Yo Ma was right. 

At Irvine International Academy, students are given the space to listen. It seems so insignificant, but any professional musician will tell you that everything about your musical growth is guided by how you listen. Of course there is much more to developing your musical capacities than this, but listening is the most essential and the most overlooked element in music education. 

We will also learn to sing, play instruments, write our own music, and the like, but our highest priority is to develop a deep capacity for inspiration in our students so that they can enjoy music for the rest of their lives. 

Oh, and we’ll have some fun along the way!