Music Teaching Quotes

Inspire your music classroom or studio with these music education quotes. Post them in your classroom, share music quotes with your colleagues, or add these inspirational music sayings to a band, choir or school newsletter.

“You are the music while the music lasts.”- T.S. Eliot

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination…”-Plato

Albert Einstein was once asked how he discovered the Theory Of Relativity. He said “ I didn’t discover it. I was listening to music and the whole thing dropped in.”

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”- Maya Angelou

“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.”- Plato

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” – Victor Hugo

“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” – Stanley Kubrick

“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.” – William Shakespeare

“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.'”- Barack Obama

“For me, everything definitely comes from music.” – Mike Myers.

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” – Martin Luther

“I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, but since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better.” – William Faulkner

“Tell me, I forget; Show me, I remember; Involve me, I understand”- Carl Orff

“To play without passion is inexcusable!” – Ludwig von Beethoven.

“Young people can learn from my example that something can come from nothing. What I have become is the result of my hard efforts.” – Franz Joseph Haydn

“A great work of art is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty.” – Nadia Boulanger.

“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” – Jimi Hendrix

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono.

“It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitgerald

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” – Judy Garland

“I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me-like food or water.” – Ray Charles

What’s your favorite music quote?
Please feel free to share your most inspirational quote or story in the comments section below. What quotes have made the biggest impact on you and your students? By networking together we can build an extensive resource of the best quotes to save time in finding them when we need them. We’d love to hear from you!!


  • By Carolyn Shackelford Reply

    “Music is nourishment and a comforting elixir. Music multiplies the beauty of life and all its values. -Zoltan Kodaly

    ” THe purpose of music is to understand better: To evolve and expand our inner world. Legends of many peoples deem music to be of divine origin; thus, when we have reached the boundaries of human understanding, music points beyond, into a world that cannot be explored but merely guessed at. –Zoltan Kodaly, 1944

    • By janice Reply

      Thanks for sharing these great quote additions Carolyn

    • By Filomena Reply

      Great Kodaly quotes!!

  • By heather lovell Reply

    “If music be the food of love, play on!”

  • By JP Walton Reply

    Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul. -Plato

  • By Maureen Loeffelholz Reply

    I find this one appropriate at this time of year-festivals everywhere and the need for us teachers to recharge our batteries!

    “Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body.”…… Oliver Wendell Holmes

    • By janice Reply

      Thanks for your contribution Maureen. Lovely quote

  • By Lisa Reply

    “Ah music! A magic far beyond what we do here.” – Albus Dumbledore

    • By janice Reply

      Thank you for your contribution Lisa. Much appreciated.

  • By Judith Reply

    Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • By Dr. J.Rand Certain Reply

    This is a quote from me-

    “Remember, only YOU can prevent,’out-of-tune’Notes!!!”

    Dr. J.Rand Certain [email protected] 2012-Certain Music

  • By Cala Reply

    My favorite quote as a teacher of music in urban classrooms:
    “Music may achieve the highest of all missions: she may be a bond between nations, races, and states, who are strangers in many ways; she may unite what is disunited and bring peace to what is hostile.”
    ~Dr. Max Bendiner

    • By janice Reply

      Great quotes Carla – Thanks for contributing

  • By Cala Reply

    “Bach gave us God’s Word. Mozart gave us God’s laughter. Beethoven gave us God’s fire. God gave us Music that we might pray without words.” – quote from outside an old German opera house

  • By Steve Klawiter Reply

    Here’s a few ‘less romantic’ quotes from anonymous contributors:

    “When she sang, not only did heads turn – but a few stomachs as well”

    “So many percussionists – so little time”

    “The difference between ‘piano players’ and ‘pianists’? Piano players have pianist envy”

    • By janice Reply

      Great quotes Steve – Thanks for contributing

    • By janice Reply

      Here’s another one I stumbled upon today:

      “”Where words fail, music speaks.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen”

      Thanks everyone for contributing so far. We’re starting to get a great reference together.

      • By janice Reply

        Here’s another gem quote that was shared with me today. Thank you Carol for passing this one on:

        “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears- it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more- it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity. ”
        – Oliver Sacks

  • By Jessica Reply

    If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing. – Sir James Barrie

  • By Momo K Reply

    “A mediocre music teacher tells. A good music teacher explains. A superior music teacher demonstrates. A great music teacher inspires.”- William Arthur Ward.

  • By Patti Coxwell Reply

    After the billionth child had said, “This is *hard*!” I came up with a solution. They read this quote, aloud, to the rest of the class for inspiration and a new attitude!

    “Music is not hard. Climbing Mt. Everest is hard.
    Music merely makes you think.” — Patti Coxwell

    • By Ben Olson Reply

      My jazz instructor in college would tell me, “It’s not hard, it’s time consuming.” He also had other gems like “I don’t hate you, I just hate the way to play.” and “Take it to part, not to heart”

  • By Patti Coxwell Reply

    In response to “Why do we take music?”, the following reply was constructed:

    “In 28 years of teaching, I have yet to have anyone say the following:
    1. I’m glad I can’t read music.
    2. I’m glad I can’t play an instrument.
    3. I wish I wasn’t such a great singer.

    I hear the opposite, however, on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis.”—Patti Coxwell

  • By Peter Reply

    pertaining to Aural lessons according to the teacher’s students undertaking Advanced Aural Activities post school
    “You were always right!, Thank you!”

  • By Marybeth Reply

    The aim and final end of all music should be none other the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. Bach

  • By Celeste Stott Reply

    If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the Hard that makes it Great!

  • By Filomena Reply

    This is one of my favorites.

    Wolfgang Amadeus MozartWolfgang Amadeus Mozart > Quotes

    “The music is not in the notes,
    but in the silence between.”
    ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • By Kathleen Mc Irvin Reply

    “Those who wish to sing will always find a song.” ~Swedish Proverb

  • By John Nance Reply

    Music is what feelings sound like

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