Why Music Lessons Make a Better Gift for the Holidays
The streets of Toronto are filled with holiday music, school is almost out for winter break, and shoppers are scurrying all over this great city eager to get the perfect treasures. Watching the snow fall from the window of our music school, it is clear that we are in full holiday swing. It’s not just Christmas, Toronto is a diverse city with holiday traditions from November through January that celebrate different cultures from around the world with unique foods, customs and music. School kids are ready to spend their days playing in the snow, eagerly looking forward to what awaits. It is easy to get swept up in the shopping, the sales, and commercials that are unavoidable this time of year. After all, that’s what kids want, isn’t it? So, why not give them that? Toronto is a city filled with diversity. People from all over the world call our city home. Should we not be the most globally conscious city on the continent?
The Problem with Toys
Right now in China pollution levels are literally off the charts so immeasurably that the toxic smog is visible from space. It is driven by the production of endless streams of plastic trees, plexiglass baubles and cheaply made toys that will be discarded within months in favor of the new cheap toys that take their place.
Meanwhile, international labor received an unprecedented amount of attention this year following the tragic collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,129 workers and injured over 2,000. In spite of the increased scrutiny, many retailers have refused to support safety improvements because of what it will do to their bottom line, though the cost is a tiny fraction of their existing profits. As the consumers, we hold the cards and there are other gifts that don’t have these terrible consequences.
The New Christmas Present: Music Lessons
Music lessons provide the perfect alternative to these problems, while still giving kids a gift that enriches them for life and still elicits the response “awesome!”. They will probably never expect a piano or guitar, either. Children often do not think to ask for things they can do – they ask for tangibles: toys, games, technology or clothes. Yet, you’ve probably seen your child playing Guitar Heroes, shredding air guitar in the back of your car, never thinking to ask for music lessons. Perhaps you always hear your child singing in the shower or playing piano at a friend’s house. These are all signs that point to a music school. Pianos and guitars are also very dissimilar from toys in that they last for years to come, instead of being cast off within months.
As a child, I would have happily traded Barbie for an electric piano and a semester of music lessons. As a parent, I want to give me daughter something she’ll flip over, and something that will provide more than cheap entertainment. By enrolling her in singing lessons, I’m giving her the ability to develop a work ethic and discipline, build confidence and enjoy her gift for the rest of her life.
How are Guitars and Pianos better than toys?
Instruments made for brands like Yamaha are made under strict safety and personal health standards. Yamaha personally audits its plants around the globe to ensure compliance and they have a low incident record to reflect that level of care and commitment. That’s one of the many reasons why Elite Music is an authorized dealer for Yamaha; just take a look at Yamaha’s corporate social responsibilities.
The choice between buying presents and sustainable living is a false dichotomy. The real choice is in what we purchase or provide children for the holidays. We all want our kids to enjoy this time of year, have exciting things to unwrap and feel overjoyed at what they discover. Giving kids something like a piano will provide them with benefits like higher academic achievements, honed concentration skills, and best of all, lasting joy. What more can we ask for?
If you’re interested in taking music lessons in Toronto, you’re welcome to a trial music lesson to meet one of our teachers.