Daniel Miles

Mr. Miles has several opinions leading towards the idea that music isn’t just about the basic chords and rhythms, instead it is about becoming lifelong learners and appreciators of music. It aids you to become self actualized and finding peace within yourself.

Mr. Miles came from the sandbox of Abu Dhabi, where he has been for five years. When I asked him about his transitioning, Mr miles said “They have been fantastic, yeah I’ve really enjoyed working here. Everyone likes to collaborate and work together. Students are extremely nice, very kind and very helpful”. He says it’s a huge change from his old school, where no one would say hello to him as they passed him in the corridors. He feels the “totally” different atmosphere from his old school and tells me how everyone has taken much better care of him here.

“Well I started playing piano at a very young age, we had operated piano in our old house, and I was was maybe like 4 or 5 when I started playing piano. And I actually really hated it,” Mr. Miles said. This just proves that even music teachers might not like everything within music. Mr. Miles goes on saying, “then I remember in 5th grade I had to decide to either play band or join choir, and I heard the choir teacher was really mean, so I chose band”. Hearing this was actually very comforting, knowing where he is now with degrees in music from Lawrence University, really gives me hope that even if you don’t like something in the start you can develop interest and maybe in your future make a living due to that. It was not until his junior year of high school he realised that he could do this for a living, because by then he loved it.

Music has always been hard to teach because there is no specific curriculum. Mr. Miles agrees with me that music is a fairly antiquated process to teach but he is trying to push out of that tradition making it more modern. But he says even though it’s an old class their job as music teachers is to make the students “transition into life long learners and appreciators of music”.

“You know everyone has to be inspired in some way, fashion or another to learn music and so even these really famous musicians started somewhere and so I think that we begin in this new place, this new era of learning music and that will hopefully be transitioned into professional musicians in whatever capacity they decide to be”.

All in all Mr. Miles only wants to show his students the beauty of music, accepting that not everyone will be professional musicians when they grow up, but knowing that his job is done when they can look at music and see it’s beauty.

“At the end of a day a healthy mind is a person that feels self actualized, a person that feels net worth within who they are”.

Mr. Miles talks a lot about this great concept called Self-Actualization founded by Abraham Maslow. Being self actualized means to find balance within yourself, and what Mr. Miles told me was that music has a great contribution to becoming self actualized. He believes that in music class “you get the opportunity to express yourself in a new, more creative way than you would in any other classes” , which will improve your mental health, pushing you one step closer to becoming self actualized.

Mr. Miles has often used music as a source of letting out his anger, he tells me, “I know for me like when I’m really frustrated or stressed out, I will go and grab an instrument of some kind and put on a backing track and I will just play with the backing track and just become much more relaxed and just have fun with it.”

To conclude what Mr. Miles has expressed to me through this interview is that, music has a great contribution to the health of people as well as the way people express themselves.The concept of Self Actualization can now be understood and can be implemented into people’s day to day life. Music is not just about the basic chords and rhythms it is about the true beauty of music.