Importance of Music Education
My topic paper I decided to write about will be on the importance of Music Education! A lot of schools in America these days are cutting the Fine Arts programs (art and music). I don’t think that the school systems realize that the subject of music is as important as Mathematics, English, Physics, American History, and so on. I want to prove to everyone just how important the subject of music is to our students! According to Chapter Five in the textbook Foundations of American Education: 6th Edition, back in the Middle Ages, city states such as Sparta, Athens and Rome had a wide variety of studies.
They studied reading, writing, arithmetic, literature, mathematics, and so on and so forth. But what I also noticed is that they did big amounts of studies in the fine arts (music, art and dance). Now, back in the middle ages, they found that the fine arts were as equally important as other subjects (mathematics, astronomy, science, etc. ). Why in today’s world, people don’t see that the fine arts are as important to learn as any other subject in school? Now a days, many of the fine art classes are either being cut from schools, or just completely terminated!
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If the Middle Ages thought it was “important” to learn, then why do most schools feel that it’s not important to keep the fine art classes alive? This is one of my other reasons why I decided to make this topic my term paper topic. “Music affects people intellectually, emotionally, physically, personally and socially (Falango, 2009, p. 1)”. Music has been a part of this world for thousands of years, even before Christ. King David composed and performed many songs. Back in those days, the songs that King David wrote were referred as “Psalms”. Psalms are songs that were used to worship God. During his 40 years ruling Israel (Schoenberg, 2011, p. 1), King David wrote many Psalms. ” That was how music began. The 1750’s through the 1820’s was considered the “Classical Generation”. Those were the years when the piano became a composer’s instrument of choice. During this time, Mozart wrote his first symphony, Bach performed in London, and Beethoven was born. Many of the symphonies we enjoy today were written during this time. All these famous composers and performers helped revolutionize the music we have today. If it wasn’t for them, the music we listen to now wouldn’t be around.
For example, if Alan Crosland didn’t start singing Jazz music, we wouldn’t have rock music today. Because jazz lead to swing, which lead to bop, which eventually lead to rock. Different genres of music have different backgrounds, but the general idea of me bringing this up is because if they didn’t play the music they had back then, then we wouldn’t have the music we have now! “The concept of education is very similar to the concept of socialization, because both aim to preserve and transmit the intellectual, moral, and aesthetic values of the society (Webb Metha and Jordan, 2010, p. 88). ” I believe that statement on socialism goes well with music. Music is a pretty big factor when it comes to socializing. When people hear a song, sometimes they have that moment where they feel a “connection” with the song. That shows the audience that there are other people out there that can relate to other people and their emotions…… through music. Not to mention that music education can help students learn the values of “socialization” through music. As I just mentioned, people have different emotions for different songs (whether if the song is with or without words).
When students get enrolled into a “Music Composition” class, they learn how to write their own music. Generally, students would learn how to play piano during this course. This gives students the opportunity to express themselves through music. Also, the music instructor would usually give the students the opportunity to share their music with the public. Generally the teacher’s students would share their work in some school, like a holiday concert for example. In a way, I see that as being social, because the students are “displaying” themselves (and their work) to the public.
And, if their performance was really good, they would get compliments from the audience after the performance. That aspect of the performance is important when it comes to socialism, because the student is learning how to interact with other people. If the compliments are coming from family, then that might be a different situation. But I think that students will learn this aspect of socialism best when they interact with people that they don’t know as well. They learn how to respond when given a compliment. I mean, sure, it’s a very minor detail in the topic of socialism, but it’s a great start to it. 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 (Blankenbehler, 2010, p. 1). ” Gregory Blankenbehler is definitely right! The way I see it, music is one of the most important parts of our society. We live around music. It’s everywhere. It’s part of our culture. There is a section in our Foundations of American Education 6th Edition book that states, a society consists of people that live under the same culture, government, institutions, land or a set of social relationships.
Music has a huge impact in our society. Not only do we use music to express how we feel (in other words, to “communicate” with the world). We also use music as our entertainment. Think about where we hear music. We hear music from our car radios on the way to work. We hear music on TV. We go to concerts to listen to our favorite singers/bands. We hear music in our favorite movies. With that specific example, think about how differently we would react to a movie if there weren’t any music in it. The mood would be different.
For example, when Indiana Jones is battling Arabians in search of the lost ark, Indy seems more heroic because of the kind of music that is being played (upbeat, “strong” kind of music). Well, what if that music was taken away from that scene. How would you feel about that scene of the movie then? As I said before, music has a big impact in our society, mostly when it comes to our entertainment. But not only does it affect our entertainment, it also affects our everyday lives. Like, when there’s music in elevators, in stores, or even in doctor’s offices.
I mean, if there wasn’t music in those areas as well, being in an elevator or even waiting in the doctor’s office would be a very boring experience. So with all those elements of music used in those situations that I just explained, just imagine, what would our society be without music? Music education is very important. For example, researchers have proven that music develops self-discipline. A student who spends time practicing every day is known to develop similar habits with other subjects as well.
It helps the students realize how much effort he/she has to put in to be “good” at something. In a way, this topic shows an example of Behaviorism. According to Chapter Four in our Foundations of American Education, “the basic principle of behaviorism is that education can best be achieved by modifying or changing student behaviors in a socially acceptable manner through the arrangement of the conditions for learning (Webb Metha and Jordan, 2010, p. 77). ” Many students like their music classes because it’s the only class where they can be creative and show everyone what they’re good at.
And not only do music classes offer that, music classes are the only classes where all students almost always “want” to participate in class activities (drum circles, band, chorus, etc. ). That self-confidence in the student makes him/her well behaved in class. That’s why there are rarely any “misbehaved” students in music classes. I have never experienced any “bad behaved” students in my music classes when I was in high school. Also, when I’m observing Laconia Middle School’s music class, I never saw any of the students act disrespectful to the teacher, because they all enjoy being in class.
Performing in a band or chorus helps build awareness on what teamwork is all about. Each member of a band/chorus has a role to play. If they don’t play they’re role correctly, then the piece will be ruined. They learn to be a reliable member of the group. They learn the importance of being a “team player” rather than the importance of being “the star”. I mean, yes, there are situations where “the star” of the show may seem important (especially if that musical piece received a standing ovation from the audience). But if you compare a band/chorus with a company/industry, you realize that every employee has a job to do.
If those jobs aren’t done correctly (or accurately), then the company could go out of business (depending on how bad the employee’s mess up was). Yes, an employee would get paid extra if he/she worked extra. But at the end of the day, everybody works together to get the job done. When you are part of a band or chorus, you learn those values and the true importance of teamwork. Also, music will often create a sense of school spirit. For example, during athletic events, sometimes you would see bands play either before the game starts, or during half-time.
There are some students who never participate in their school’s athletic teams, so they would rarely go to athletic events. If they were to join the school band, they would not only participate in the athletic event, but they would have an opportunity to show off their skills to the public. They would help contribute school spirit for their school. This could provide students with a sense of self-worth (in other words, boost up their self-esteem), which will almost always give those students positive attitude. Scientists have discovered that learning to read music or play a musical instrument develops “higher” thinking skills.
A student who learns music is able to succeed at problem-solving (specifically math). Music reading uses the same portion of the brain that’s used in mathematical thinking. That’s why so many skilled musicians are good at math. I would know that for a fact because I have a friend that’s very into his music and has the highest grade in all his math classes! I mean, even Albert Einstein was a musician. Einstein was a violinist. Surprisingly, he actually credited his discoveries in physics to the music training that he had taken. He even mentioned that if he didn’t become a scientist, he would have been a musician. Life without playing music is conceivable for me,” he says. “I lived my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music. ” So it goes to show that some of the smartest people in the world are musicians. However, for students that don’t do well academically through music, music can also help build self-esteem. For example, to some students (including myself), music is their one chance to shine in the middle of the day after being filled with other classes that fry their brains (math, science, history, etc. ).
In a way, music class is some student’s “escape” from other classes that might seem stressful to them. There are some situations where there’s a student who writes a song and performs it during a band concert, or a student who sings a solo for the school’s holiday concert. Those might be the only moments that they’ll get praise all year. Either way, it makes the student proud of themselves, and makes them continue to have the drive of performing music. That’s how music can help bring self-esteem to students. It helps the students discover how talented they really are! Recent studies have shown that adolescent music education produces greater observable physical development in the brain (Blankenbehler, 2010, p. 1). It provides students with 27% higher math scores, 57 points higher SAT scores and 46% increase in IQ scores. ” Music Education has been proved to enhance learning in all other subjects by improving study skills, and emotional development. According to Blankenbehler, students who participate in school bands also experience the lowest rate of gang activity, drinking, drug and other substance usage.
Another affect that music has on people is through emotions. This subject will be one of the more important topics that students will learn in their music class. Whether if you scored the winning goal, lost a loved one, or even experiencing your first kiss. Music affects the way that we feel. I mean, you wouldn’t play “Fallin’ for You” by Colbie Caillat at a funeral. “Throughout history, many different cultures have expressed their joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats through the beauties of music (Falango, 2009, p. 1). How people react to the music they hear depends on the “way” the music is being played. For example, if the music is being played fast and upbeat, then most likely the song is a happy song. But if a song is being played in a slow pace and the notes are being played slow and somewhat “long”, then the song is most likely meant to be sad. Not only does the pace and the tone affect he emotion of the song, it’s also the words in the song. That’s the difference between “instrumental” and “vocal” music. In this case, we would be talking about “vocal” songs.
That’s when “expressing” yourself comes in. A lot of people around you don’t really know your life story, and honestly, they don’t really have to. But if you want the world to know what kind of person you really are, I believe that expressing yourself through songs is the best way to go. We’ve all heard a song at least once in our lives that make us think, “Wow, I can really relate to this song! ” That shows the listener that there are people out there that deal with the same experience as them, and that they’re not alone. The emotional aspects of music are closely and personally tied to the performer (Falango, 2009, p. 1). ” Whether if everyone’s experiences are more happy than sad (and vice versa), everyone deals with the same regular everyday lifetime experiences. It’s just people “expressing” it in different ways….. like in music. A lot of songs talk about love, heartbreak, anger, celebration, triumph, etc. Also, many people play background music (in their house, car, office, etc. ) to set the mood for an “occasion”, and that people often feel more comfortable and “less stressed” with music in the background.
So as you can see, music plays a huge role of how people deal with emotions. According to Kenneth L. Liske, Ph. D – University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, “Without music education one must recreate the art, beginning at its simplest level, in order to achieve musical expression. If the purpose of organized education is to give students the benefit of the society’s collected knowledge and to develop the skills needed to interact within the society for the ultimate improvement of both the society and the student, then the absence of music in education is unfortunate. Liske is absolutely right! Music education (and the fine arts in general) is being cut in a lot of private schools because the school systems don’t feel that music isn’t an important enough subject to study. Although all educators are exposed to legal challenges, music educators, as a result of their professional responsibilities, have an “increased risk” of becoming involved in lawsuit.
Reasons for this increased risk include individual and student performances, attendance requirements, additional time with students outside of the original school day, and off-campus activities (including fieldtrips). According to a theses on the webpage of “Auburn University”, “The purpose of this study was to identify the legal concerns that occurred most often in the United States federal court system involving music educators (from January 1, 1995-December 31, 2009), and to provide music educators with an awareness of the law as it relates to the ield of music education through court case analysis. ” The “LexisNexis Academic Database” was used to identify the court cases involving music educators and selected areas of law including Constitutional Law (First, Fourth, Eleventh, and Fourteenth amendments) and other areas of law (tort law, copyright law, disability law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and sexual harassment). The search revealed 220 cases that occurred in the federal court system (from January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2009), that involved music educators in their professional roles.
The hierarchy of the court system was used in selecting cases for an addition to the study, and was searched for diversity in the selection of district court cases through consideration of the accurate background of each case. The subject (band, choir, orchestra, and general music), and grade level (elementary school, middle school, high school, and higher education). Through increased knowledge of the laws impacting the field of music education, music educators will be better equipped to provide a safe and comprehensive musical experience for their students.
Having a philosophy of education is important. It can be hard to make your own philosophy for teaching, but it is important to have one. “The purpose of a philosophy of education is to recognize certain educational principles that define our views about the learner (student), the teacher, and the school (Webb Metha and Jordan, 2010, p. 50). ” Peter Falango states, “I believe that every student should receive a musical education, and that every student who wishes to perform deserves the opportunity. ” I also agree with his philosophy. Students that want to have a music education should have it.
There have been many successful musicians (ex. David Foster, pianist and composer for Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Michael Buble, etc. ), and many successful people that have been a part of music (ex. Albert Einstein). Imagine what they’re life would’ve have been like if they didn’t get the option of having a music education class. School boards should see what the benefit of music education is rather than seeing the disadvantages of it. I mean, know that we’re facing a really tough economic time, and that it’s “hard” to fulfill our children’s educational needs. But there’s an old saying, “our children are the future. ” If our future children don’t get all the education opportunities they need (and want), then they have no future!
* Blankenbehler, Gregory. (2010, June 12). The importance of music education in public schools. Retrieved from http://pitchperfectmusic. org/articles/importance-music-education-public-schools/ * Falango, Peter. (2009, May 1). Philosophy of music education. Retrieved from http://eportfolios. ithaca. edu/pfalang1/phil/ * Guth, Patricia. (2006). The importance of music education. Retrieved from http://education. more4kids. nfo/23/the-importance-of-music-education/ * Liske, Kenneth L. (2008). Philosophy of music education: A statement of educational philosophy and professional purpose. Retrieved from http://www. uwosh. edu/faculty_staff/liske/philosophy. html * Webb, L. Dean, Metha, Arlene, & Jordan, K. Forbis. (2007). Foundations of american education. Columbus, OH: Merrill. * Gallahan, Carla. “Legal Issues in Music Education: An Analysis of Court Cases Involving Music Educators. ” Auburn University Theses and Dissertations. Auburn University, 30 2010. Web. 15 Oct 2012. <http://etd. auburn. edu/etd/handle/10415/2393>.