Music and Emotion

Music teacher Hallie Cohen became dissatisfied with the lack of student engagement in her technical, conservatory-derived lessons. However, she realized that she and her students had overlapping emotional goals: The students wanted to communicate with one another, and Hallie wanted them to discover the communicative power of music. So, Hallie abandoned her technical approach and found several ways for students to use their instruments as tools to communicate their feelings to one another. The students also became better able to internalize and respond to the emotions of others. The result of this work was increased motivation and a greater understanding of the purpose of music.