by Goh Ruyin
In light of the inclusion of teaching emotional intelligence in mainstream education in Singapore, here is the chicken-and-egg question that parents are probably burning to ask: does learning music really help your child’s emotional quotient (EQ)? Or do people with high EQ naturally find an affinity with music?
Let me respond with my own personal experience. Music, to me, was and is an essential partner in my emotional development.
MUSIC HELPED ME DISCOVER AND MAKE PEACE WITH MY EMOTIONS
I was a very emotional child. However, I was socially awkward and could not even look to my family for emotional support. Hence, I turned to the written word and music for solace. Pages after pages of diary entries were filled, and ballad after ballad was tinkled out soulfully (at least, I like to think) on the piano. I joined the choir in primary school, and the concert band in secondary school until junior college. I felt chills go down my spine as I made otherworldly sounds on my instrument. It was such a transcendental experience. It still is. Every day, my emotional connection with myself deepens, and music is like the vector that carries it through.