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The Gym Teacher is the Most Important Teacher in the Classical School but Don’t Forget Music


Dr. Matthew Bianco


Presented at the CiRCE Fall Regional Conference 2023.

In the classical tradition, there is an “order of learning” meaning there are skills and ideas that are prerequisites to other skills and ideas. These skills and ideas have to be learned in a certain order. What’s not as clear is what is happening to the soul of the student in that order of learning. The order of learning is more than just, “I have to learn how to count before I learn how to add.The soul itself is being transformed by this learning. And in transforming the soul, we are lifting up the heart. Perhaps unexpectedly, the teacher that might be most important in educating the soul in the earliest lessons of the order of learning is the gym teacher, the sophronistai. In this talk, Dr. Matthew Bianco will describe what a sophronistai is, what he does, what is happening to the soul, and why the student needs it.