Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 61
This includes being vocal advocates and ambassadors for
the uses and value of music in the complex society in which
we live. Musician-ambassadors can engage in creative
musical activities in non-traditional venues such as hospitals,
retirement homes, police and fire departments, community
organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, shopping
malls, nightclubs, and bookstores. Music teachers can
inspire and educate their students of all ages to develop a
social conscience as a way to enjoy, use, and promote music
A recent article in Time magazine discussed proposed
budget cuts as President Trump reportedly has plans to
eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the
National Endowment for the Humanities. (I hope this will
not have occurred when this article appears in print several
months after I write it.) As noted by author Karen Finley,
"This would have devastating consequences for our society;
for our cultural diversity; and for the many economies that
are connected to promoting cultural heritage, innovation,
and production, both domestically and abroad."6 The author
concludes that the arts are the "bridge when walls of fear
keep us insulated... A society loses its meaning purpose, and
I conclude, as I began, with a return to my 2008 article.
I believe NOW, more than ever, that music teachers and
their students of all ages and levels of ability must creatively
promote music in society. Learning an instrument is an
important lesson toward becoming a cultural ambassador.
Musicians' contributions to our psychic (emotional) income
add quality to our lives. This is something that money
cannot buy, yet money must support the arts and our
cultural institutions. Music enriches all of us. Now, more than
ever, music as a cultural and social instrument relies on the
creativity and resourcefulness of music teachers and their
students to promote music's versatility and deeply enduring
Julie Jaffee Nagel, Ph.D., is a graduate of The Juilliard
School, The University of Michigan, and The Michigan
Psychoanalytic Institute. She is the author of the book
Melodies of the Mind and an acclaimed writer and
presenter on performance anxiety, career choice, and
music emotion. She is in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Visit her website at www.julienagel.net.
Nagel, J.J. (2008 Jan. 27) Ann Arbor News, A-16.
Nagel, J.J. (2013) Melodies of the Mind, Routledge Press 3.
Nagel, J.J. (2017 Mar/Apr), "Rethinking the master class," Clavier
Polisi, J.W. (2005 rev. 2016), The Artist as Citizen. Amadeus Press.
Finley, K. (2017 Feb. 6), "Trump can thank the arts for his wealth," Time, 29.