Canadians love to celebrate hockey.
Most would agree that hockey culture is embedded deep within us. We’re pretty good at it too! The Canadian music community can learn lots from the hockey community; many parallels can be drawn – especially where it concerns education and the maintenance of a strong cultural presence.
(Not that music in Canada is poor, but we celebrate hockey exponentially more than music. Hockey then, is more connected to our Canadian identity. We watch Hockey Night in Canada, not Music Night in Canada!)
For the next few posts, I’ll be writing about things that Music-in-Canada can learn from Hockey-in-Canada.
- Lesson #1: Hockey Brings People Together
- Lesson #2: Hockey is Anytime, Anywhere!
- Lesson #3: Hockey is Spontaneous
- Lesson #4: Hockey is Simply Structured
- Lesson #5: Hockey Creates Feedback Loops
- Lesson #6: There are No Undergraduate Degrees in Hockey
- Lesson #7: Hockey Supports Connection and Feedback
Hockey Brings People Together
Thousands of people will gather to watch hockey games, as if it has its own gravitational pull, but on people – this makes it special.
Hockey lovers don’t just gather at hockey rinks. They gather at bars, restaurants, house parties and two-on-two road hockey games. Its gravitational pull is built into the essence of hockey – you can’t play unless you have someone to play with!
Because of this, hockey education has inherent advantages. From day one, when they start playing organized hockey, kids are interacting with other kids. They play together, skate together, practice together, work together, learn together, learn from each another, and compete against each other.
I’ve never heard of private hockey lessons. They probably exist somewhere, but they’re certainly not emphasized. Skills can be acquired without them.
Why should music education be any different?
Further, playing or watching hockey together creates a special bond between people – just as music does. Kids who play hockey will grow up experiencing this culture on a very deep, personal level. Those experiences will last for the rest of their lives.
Among my memories of playing hockey are the sweaty, smelly equipment, the rubber floors, the hockey moms, the zamboni floods, the cool arena air, the scoreboard buzzer and the sound of the skate sharpener. Even these subtle things make powerful, positive impressions. At the very mention of them, I hope I’m triggering your old hockey memories!
Millions of people in Canada share the same positive experiences of playing hockey. These connections are so powerful, they can be felt between people who’ve never met before. Hence, hockey brings people together.
Think about that next time your team scores and you high-five the stranger next to you!