The Importance of Music Education in the Public Schools

As educators, it is our responsibility to nurture in our students the knowledge and abilities that they need in order to be balanced and productive members of society. While mastery of the basic subjects such as reading and writing, math and the sciences are of course essential to obtaining this goal, many so-called extra-curricular subjects — especially music — are also vital in this effort. For its many tangible benefits, music should be maintained and promoted as an essential component of elementary and secondary education.For centuries music had been considered an irreplaceable part of a proper education. Early universities taught it as one of the quadrivium or four essential pillars of education. Albert Einstein himself was a skilled musician and frequently attributed his discoveries in physics to the musical training he received.[1] Modern educational politics, however, have often marginalized music education to a luxurious and expensive “extra” program that is often cut when negative budget issues are met. Education administrators too often mistakenly believe that music education is a misguided effort to channel students into a career in music or, at best, an expensive “play time” that does little for their educational development.If only those administrators could learn the incredible benefits of music education on students, they might change their minds. Recent studies have indicated that adolescent music education produces greater observable physical development in the brain,[2] and an average of 27% higher math scores,[3] 57 points higher SAT scores[4] and a 46% increase in IQ scores.[5] In addition to these documented benefits on intelligence, music education has been shown enhance learning in all other subject areas by improving their study skills, receptiveness to instruction, social and emotional development. Students that participate in school band or orchestra also experience the lowest rate of gang activity and substance abuse. Most importantly, the cognitive and behavioral advantages of music education are shown to affect all students, regardless of their ethnicity, “at-risk” status, or socio-economic background.[6]These findings alone should guarantee the inclusion of a robust music program in every primary and secondary school, but the benefits don’t end there. Adolescent music education has been shown to be a reliable predictor of success in college and professional life. It has been reported that approximately 22% more applying music majors are admitted to medical schools than any other major,[7] and that “the very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.”[8]My parents raised six boys and one girl, all of whom participated heavily in music during their primary and secondary school years. While I was the only one of us to become a professional musician and music educator, each of my siblings have gone on to successful careers including three doctors, an architect and an engineer. I feel greatly indebted to the many music educators that taught my family and me and am saddened to hear that the opportunities we received are not always available to children. I have made it my personal challenge as a music teacher and choir director to individually reach each of my students and instill in them the skills and appreciation of music that bring such joy to my own life. As a public school teacher, I find great fulfillment knowing that the skills I teach them in music classes and ensembles will not only enable a life-long interest, but will also help them in many other important areas of their lives and contribute to their success in life.The great violin teacher Shinichi Suzuki said “The purpose of [music] education is to train children, not to be professional musicians but to be fine musicians and to show high ability in any other field they enter.”[9] My experience has taught me that music education uniquely enhances learning and prepares children for successful lives. Along with all the other subjects taught in elementary and secondary schools, I hope that I can bring the world of music into the lives of as many children as I can. In doing so, I know I will make our society just a little bit better by making a big difference in their lives.Sources:[1] Brian Foster, “Einstein and his Love of Music,” Physics World (Jan. 2005), .[2] G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang and H. Steinmetz, “In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians,” Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (Liege, Belgium, 1994), 417-418.[3] Amy Graziano, Matthew Peterson and Gordon Shaw, “Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training,” Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).[4] College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ, 2001.[5] Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994.[6] “Benefits of Music Education,” MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 2002.[7] Lewis Thomas, “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan (February 1994).[8] Grant Venerable, “The Paradox of the Silicon Savior,” as reported in “The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools,” The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989.[9] Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured by Love, second ed., Athens OH: Senzay Publications, 1983, 79.

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The True Value of Education

Education is indeed the most precious treasure that anyone can have. It is the only treasure that cannot be stolen from us. Once we have earned a good quality education, it is up to us on how we will achieve it, treasure it, give importance to it, share it, improve it and use it in a good sense and purpose. It needs perseverance, responsibility, concentration and passion for an individual to get a good education. It would take you years to fully develop your intellectual, physical, and emotional skills which are all part of a good education and through this, it is very possible that you will obtain and reach your goals.Earning an education does not have any hindrances as long as you are willing to learn and at the same time attention on it. It is a relationship of giving and taking of ideas and experiences in life that needs to be nourished and developed. Sacrifices are needed but just keep in your mind that it is for the betterment of your life and for your future, not only for yourself but also for the people around you. You just have to set your goals, dreams and purpose so that you will not be wasting your time in shifting and changing the path and the direction of your life.Education programs now are already available through the internet. Like the on-school education programs, they also offer quality education, good accreditation, well-versed knowledge and good performance as well. They are a bit more convenient that those of the on-school education programs because they can be reached through the tips of your fingers and you can study anytime and anywhere. Even if they are high in technology, education programs using the internet still have consequences like there is no personal contact between the lecturers or professors to the student and this can be a difficult situation to handle.On-school education programs are still the best among the rest. It offers a massive contact between the student and the professor for a quick retention of the lessons and there is a massive monitoring of the attitudes and behaviors of the students. There are lots of state universities and colleges that offer quality education programs from preschool, to grade school, to middle school and up to college. Even masters and doctorate degree are offered for a more reliable source of education.As long as you are willing and determined enough to pursue your dreams, it is not that impossible to achieve your dreams and goals of having a good and quality education for yourself. There are lots of options for you to choose from and all you have to do is to work it out well sincerely and seriously. You have to give hard work and sacrifices as well so that you will be able to mold yourself into a very competitive and knowledgeable individual in the future. Money is just a tool to this matter but it is your will that counts the best and that will help you predict your future.

The Need For Education In Becoming Responsible Citizens

Education is an important aspect in each and everyone’s life. Not only it affects the life of individuals but it also effects the nation and the world on large. A country can prosper if its citizens are educated and handle their duties well. ‘Education’ is not just a term; it aims to change the lives of the people by changing his/her views towards life. Due to the globalization of the world, there is an increased pressure on the students to learn and perform well. An educated person has a broader thinking that an uneducated person. A person can be judged on the basis of his/her acts whether he is educated or not. It is the most important element in our life which teaches us how to think, behave, judge and feel.The place where we attain education is known as school. Schools and colleges form an important place in our society. Many governments have made primary education mandatory. Several countries spend thousands of dollars per month on the fulfillment of this ambitious project. To impart education for all has become a necessity for the government. Children are the future of this world and the leaders know this very well.Education is based on a curriculum (set of course). This curriculum is decided by a panel of educationists which is then followed by schools and colleges all over a specific country. Each and every country has a separate curriculum based on their respective national languages. Although, there are some basic subjects like Mathematics, History, Geography, Science etc which remains compulsory in all the curriculum. Primary education remains compulsory for all individuals and the curriculum remains the same for all the schools and college throughout the country. After a student reaches college level, he is allowed to choose a particular stream depending upon his choice and abilities. Some of the commonly available streams are arts, science, commerce and IT. A student can choose any particular stream and can continue his studies in that stream. There are specific colleges available for specific streams and it depends upon the merit and choice of the students to join a particular college.Education is important for all of us. It involves gathering of knowledge which helps us to become better individuals. It helps us to attain a respectable position in the society. It helps an individual to think smartly and perform his duties well. An educated person becomes a responsible citizen of the country. It plays a pivotal role in the overall development of a human being. It contributes to the personal and social growth of a person. Governments have recognized the need for education in our life and are helping its citizens educate. Literacy rate of respective states are constantly monitored.Hence to lead a civilized and healthy life and to perform our duties well, we need education. Good education means a good future is waiting for us.