Music is an important and integral part of a students complete education. Below are listed many facts and anecdotes about the many benefits of a quality music education.
If you are concerned with the funding of Germantown Schools and the Arts Programs, then please let not only the school board, but your elected officials in Madison know your displeasure.
Senator Alberta Darling
District office phone in River Hills--(414)352-7877
Music Standards and the Law
Music Is Basic To Education
The question was asked why music should be a part of basic education. Here are some of the reasons:
- "A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform" by the National Commissioner on Excellence in Education, recommends that high schools provide vigorous programs in the fine and performing arts.
- The College Board Report "Academic Preparation for College" includes the arts as one of the six basics to be included in the school curriculum.
- John Goodlad, author of "A Place Called School" views the arts as one of the "five givers" of human knowledge, along with mathematics and science, literature and language, society and social studies, and vocations.
- Ernest Boyer's "High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America," lists the arts as second curriculum priority, after language, in the proposed core of common learning. This proposed core includes nine subject areas. He goes on to say that music is ranked first among subjects most liked by students and receives high rankings in the areas of importance and difficulty.
- Howard Gardner's "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences" states that there are seven forms of intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. None of these ought to have priority over others. We must present and repeatedly reinforce why music is basic and share with the students and parents what our goals are.
According to The No Child Left Behnd Act of 2001--"Core Academic" Subjects include:
- Reading and Language Arts
- Foreign Languages
- Civics and Government
NATIONAL MUSIC STANDARDS
- Sing alone and with others
- Perform on instruments, alone and with others
- Improvise: melodies, harmonies, accompaniments
- Compose and arrange within guidelines
- Read and notate music
- Listen to, analyze, and describe music
- Evaluate music and perfromances
- Understand relationships between music, other arts and other disciplines
- Understand music’s relationship to history and culture.
"Why music in education?"
12 Benefits Of Music Education
- Music contributes to the school and community environment (quality of life).
- Music helps prepare students for a career and is an avocation.
- Music makes the day more alive and interesting, which in turn leads to more learning.
- Music combines behaviors to promote a higher order of thinking skills.
- It provides a way to image and create, contribute to self-expression and creativity.
- Music enriches life, it is a way to understand our cultural heritage as well as other past and present cultures. (see article by Bill Pharis)
- Performing, consuming and composing are satisfying and rewarding activities.
- Music contributes to sensitivity (see Gloria Kiester's articleÑTeaching Music for "feelingful intelligence).
- Music education provides for perceptualÑmotor development.
- It encourages team work and cohesiveness.
- It fosters creativity and individuality.
- Music education adds to self-worth of participants.
- Music education fosters discipline and commitment.
- It is a major source of joy and achievement.
- Music provides unique and distinct modes of learning (see article by Howard Gardner).
- Music is a therapeutic outlet for human beings.
- It is a predictor of life's success (see article by National Association of Secondary School Principals).
- It develops intelligence in other areas (see articles by Wendell Harrison, Howard Gardner, Malcom Browne and Tom Cohen).
- To provide success for some students who have difficulty with other aspects of the school curriculum.
- To help the student realize that not every aspect of quantifiable and that it is important to cope with the subjective.
- The music program is very cost-effective (Se Save Your Music Program, John L. Benham) What parent or child wouldn't want the benefits of music education"
- Study of the arts encourages a suppleness of the mind, a toleration for ambiguity, a taste for nuance, and the ability to make trade-offs among alternative courses of action.
- Study of the arts helps students to think and work across traditional disciplines. They learn both to integrate knowledge and to "think outside the box."
- An education in the arts teaches student how to work together cooperatively.
- An education in the arts builds an understanding of diversity and the multi-cultural dimensions of our world.
- An arts education insists on the value of content, which helps students understand "quality" as a key value.
- An arts education contributes to technological competence.
- Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.
- There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.
- Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
- Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.
- A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a "me first" attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.
- Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student's own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
- In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
- Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.
- Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with his core, with what he is and what he feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
- Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on "doing," as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.
- Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.
- An arts education exposes children to the incomparable.