March 14th is Albert Einstein’s birthday. And we at FSM are honoring this month as his birthday month. One would wonder why is Furtados School of Music, a leading music educator celebrating the world’s greatest physician. Well, we do have at least 2 reasons to do so. First and foremost, Einstein was a genius and deserves to be celebrated either way and secondly, Einstein’s genius genes weren’t just limited to physics and mathematics, but he is also known for his love for music. In his own words, “Life without playing music is inconceivable for me,” “I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music … I get most joy in life out of music.” Time and again, we have tried to impress the benefits of music education on our lives and here you have it again, a testimony about learning music from the world’s most famous genius. Music wasn’t just a hobby for Einstein, it was the core for him through which he thought and did everything in his life including physics and math. How it all began for Einstein When Einstein was a young boy, his school teachers told his parents that he was “stupid” and he is simply unable to learn anything at school. They advised his parents to take him out of the school. But instead of pondering upon the advice of his teachers, his mother bought him a violin. And voila, this decision became a turning point of his life. Einstein’s mother, Pauline was herself an accomplished pianist and she taught him to play piano and violin when he was very young. In the initial years, he showed interest in Piano; however as he became a teenager he developed more interest in violin. Einstein was a great fan of the works of Mozart and Bach and could play their works quite eloquently. He liked to deliver public performances and the audiences, especially women were extremely influenced by his music. He found his inspiration in Mozart Einstein found his violin lessons quite tedious and once in a fit of rage, he threw a chair at his music teacher. However at the age of 13, he heard Mozart’s violin sonatas which made him fall in love with his violin and Mozart both. “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe,” he said. He used music to solve math Throughout his life, whenever he was trying to figure out any scientific problems or formulae, he would start playing his violin. Once, when asked about his theory of relativity, Einstein explained, “It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception.” No one could have summed it better. The importance & benefits of music education in our lives are so wide that even Einstein promoted it. And he has his life’s undisputed work standing true and tall behind this claim. He carried his violin with him wherever he went and performed for his friends, family and general public with great enthusiasm. Through the love of music, he built several friendships with like minded individuals. One such popular camaraderie was with Rabindranath Tagore with whom he had intense discussions about life, philosophy and music. His violin was a source of joy and inspiration for him, he even named his violin as “Lina”. “I know that most joy in my life has come to me from my violin,” he said. “As a little girl,” Einstein’s second wife Elsa once remarked, “I fell in love with Albert because he played Mozart so beautifully on the violin. He also plays the piano. Music helps him when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study.” If you think about the above statement made by his wife, you will realize that Einstein literally used his music to work on his physics and math problems. During an interview in 1929, Einstein said that, had he not been a scientist, he would have been a musician. All these testimonies given by Einstein and his family members about his love for music surely tell us one thing that whether or not he played well enough to perform in a concert but music surely was a defining force in his life and he played for the love of it. That’s Einstein’s life and work, all of which balanced between his love for music. I can’t think of another perfect example of how music can shape someone’s life and turn a person into a genius. Throughout his life Einstein had several interests other than physics and math, and despite of these interests his love for music was unconditional. There are several lives around us that have attained glory due to the inclusion of music. Albert Einstein is yet another such fine example who spent his life towards the betterment of humanity with Physics, Math and Music. And just like he did, we could too…The music is right within us, we just need to hit the first chord and open our life & world to endless possibilities.