Perhaps there is more to life than winning first chair, winning the gold medal in ISSMA Orchestra competition, or winning the Bands of America Grand National Championship. In my time as a musician from middle school through the collegiate level I often heard that music is not a competition. This has come from parents and teachers who want to believe that music education is solely about art. Several studies that indicate the study of music helps students become more creative, more intelligent, etc. (You can find these on our Monday posts titled “Truth in Music Education”). Artistry and intelligence is important, so is preparing for the competition that is everyday life. Perhaps artistry and intelligence are source of the “good life” but make no mistake that one must prepare for the stresses and strains of modern life. I fully believe that the competitive component of music education is one of the most important learning experiences every student can have.