Celebrate Music this March
Summary: CELEBRATE MUSIC IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH in MARCH 2014 Did you know that March is Music In Our Schools Month? According to the National Association of Music Educators, "Music In Our Schools Month – March 2014 is a great time to highlight the importance of comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators for all through concerts, lessons, and public performances and advocacy activities." The website broaderminded.com does a brilliant job dividing the benefits of music into 5 distinct categories: Brain Development, Inherent Benefit, Academic Achievement, Filling Gaps, and 21st century skills. Brain Development (Improved Cognition) Music helps engage students in a variety of subjects including math, science, history, culture, lintuistics, and physical education. Students that diligently train in musical instruments from an early age trains their brains to remain focused when learning other subjects. Inherent Benefits While not necessarily quantifiable, the inherent benefits of music are many: Decision making skills are enhanced Students develop Grit - a purpose and determination Multiple Ways of Knowing (i.e., Multiple Intelligences) Emotional awareness is heightened Grows Reflective Learning and Introspection (self-smart) Academic Achievement Loads of studies have quantified the improvements in many aspects of academic achievement such as increased involvement and improved self-esteem. In addition, music education aids in: Improved reading skills Higher GPA Spatial reasoning (logical/spatial intelligence) Higher graduation rates Fills the Gaps Music and the other arts can fill the gaps that often occur in traditional eduction Music transcends socioeconomic levels Increases student engagement in other activities Here’s a story on the broaderminded.com website about filling music filling the gaps of traditional education and therapies: My daughter was born with a neurological impairment affecting the right side of her brain and left side of her body. After receiving years of physical and occupational therapy, her coordination, gross and fine motor movement improved greatly. However, she still continued to have great difficulty with her math skills. She started taking musical instruction, initially, with piano, then went on to become skilled in the guitar and ukelele. Once she became proficient in the first instrument, her math skills improved greatly. Actually, she just blossomed in terms of math skills as well as personality. She went on to become an honor student and graduated high school. She was accepted into an honors program at the college level, achieving a position on the Dean's list since entering college. 21st Century Skills To me, these skills should already be part of the school day, however, for most kids, these skills often do not get developed. Creativity in problem solving Collaboration (what's called cheating in schools is called collaborating in the real world) Communication - the nuances expressed through musical performance transcend into verbal and written communication skills Critical thinking - synthesizing, evaluating, and applying information in different scenarios March is going to be AWESOME! Celebrate music in your kids school - support your kids performances and encourage teachers to stage them. Help out at the performances and enjoy the sense of pride your child will feel during and after each performance. If your school doesn’t have a strong music program, please take some time this month to seek out a professional school of music and the performing arts. These types of schools have several advantages over home-based learning (whether in your house or someone else’s). You can check out podcasts 3, 5 ways to get the most out of music lessons and 10, which provides greater scientific detail about the benefits of music.