In the mid-1800’s, New York City was growing quickly. Buildings were filling in the empty spaces. People were living closer together. Commerce was vibrant.
Because of this growth, city leaders recognized a strong need for a city park.
Frederick Law Olmsted won a competition for his vision of that space and designed what became Central Park. It is 843 acres of beautiful, natural, space where people can retreat and relax.
The presence of this huge span of green space next to skyscrapers is a study in contrast. The decision to set aside valuable property free from commerce seemed wasteful and inefficient to some in the 1850’s. But time has proven that decision to be prescient and wise.
Playing music, once the grassy park space and trees next to busy, roads and office buildings of our lives, is now seen as valuable training space for our children.
Music education for many is an obstacle course where kids learn discipline, fine motor skills, learn to work together, and even get a leg-up on college applications.
New York City works because of Central Park, the valuable counter-balance to the mayhem of Manhattan. It is a contrast that inspires me.
I am continually trying to cultivate an educational environment for my students that will provide them green space in their lives now.
And if I do my job well, I’m hopeful they will use their music to help them retreat and relax in the bustling, mayhem of adult life.