Why Stay in Music?

clarinetIf you’re like the typical student, you may be wondering about staying with music as you enter high school.

According to the National Association for Music Education, there are many reasons for staying with your music studies.

The following music facts and figures are taken from the National Association for Music Education’s Facts and Figures Page.

Success in Society

Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). – Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998

The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. – 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

Success in School

violinStudents with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. – College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.

Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non- participants receiving those grades. – NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC

Success in Developing Intelligence

“The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling–training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.” – Ratey John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.

Researchers found that children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial- temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing, or no lessons. – Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J., Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., and Newcomb, R. (1997) Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial temporal reasoning. Neurological Research, 19, 1-8.

Success in Life

horn“Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it’s important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.” – Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting System.

“Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life.” – Daniel A. Carp, Eastman Kodak Company Chairman and CEO.

“During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North – and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.” – H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” – Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America

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