The Importance of Music in Character Formation
Aristotle argued that for man to attain eudaimonia which can be translated as “happiness” or “human flourishing,” man should be virtuous. To be virtuous is to attain the just middle which is neither excessive nor deficient. To be virtuous, that is to develop one’s character, is what makes a human person good. This is one of the main challenges of education, if not really the greatest challenge. One way to develop one’s character is through music. Plato in his work “Phaedo” implicitly says that man is a musical animal which means that for man to fully realize his humanity, music is a need. His thesis is that music has moral or immoral effects and so, music has a power to further a kind of education. He theorizes that there are character forming qualities in the music that we play. This paper argues that there is indeed a connection between music and character formation. Although not everyone may be musically gifted, everyone has affinity to a certain kind of music which can have good or bad impact to one’s character. In using music to develop one’s character, one should be aware of the immoral effects of some music. The paper ends in proposing a possible way on how to use music in forming one’s character in teaching humanities and social science subjects.
Keywords - Character, Eudaimonia, Homo Musicus, Music