Music teachers are always aware of the impact that music education makes on their students- they see it everyday. However, does that mean everyone else in the local community always shares this opinion?
Sadly, the answer is often no.
The reality is that even if you’ve been teaching several years, students will still come to you after a lesson(or rehearsal) and tell you they can’t come next week because they have swimming, gymnastics, a family function or whatever!!
Now …thankfully this doesn’t happen all the time, but does it happen to you at least once in a while? Has it ever happened to you? Does it annoy you if it happens?
If you’re like most music teachers, the truthful answer is yes!
Now I know on the surface we’re calm and take it in our stride, but underneath that calm exterior do you ever think to yourself (perhaps with a few other choice words from time to time) something along the lines of – Why does music class have to be the one session to change? Why can they change family functions, sports or whatever it is that they’re going to first? Why don’t they value music?
The answer to fixing this never easy because it doesn’t just happen at the student level. Often parents can be overstretched with siblings, family commitments, work and other priorities.
So what is the answer?……
I believe the answer lies in communication and in education. Educating our community, our students and their parents about music and its importance is never going to be easy, however with time and commitment (something that every music teacher does loads of anyway), it can be done. Loads of teachers send out newsletters, have facebook or twitter accounts, hold parent interview evenings and even parent seminar evenings already. It is possible to make these events fun and educational to our communities while helping to fix these long term issues.
One way we can help with understanding is to share news from media.
Often media reports and articles can include useful market research and highlight the importance of music education.
Here are 5 top quotes from media articles, written by respected media sources which are advocating about the benefits of music. Feel free to share and add your favorites using the comment box below.
“Students in high school music programs have higher test scores and cognitive development. A U.S. Department of Education study found that those who reported consistent involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. (This observation holds regardless of students’ socioeconomic status.)”
|“As any savvy Olympian knows, shutting out the crowds and retreating into a private world of beats can bring scientifically proven benefits to their performance. A study by Brunel University discovered that music can distract the brain sufficiently from the effort it is making, and the resultant pain, to enhance performance by up to 15%.”Olivia Parker, The Daily Telegraph
|“Once your body gets in tune with it, music can regulate the efficiency of yourphysiologicalsystem. It is to do with the effect you are after – to go farther, faster or to just have a more pleasurable experience. The key is the tempo of the music matches precisely either the stride rate, or the rate at which you are exercising.”
Grant McArthur, Adelaide Now
|“Music needs to be seen as one of the key learning areas because it crosses over to language, mathematics, comprehension – everything”
“All the research shows that [music] enhances social development, it enhances the capacity to intersect with other subjects like maths and English and it builds teamwork skills.”
Kieran Ricketts, ABC News
“Students involved in music generally tested higher on the SAT and in reading proficiency exams than those who had no music involvement. That’s according to a UCLA analysis of more than 25,000 students over a period of ten years.”
Just the beginning!
These quotes are a great start, but I’m sure you’ll agree they are just the beginning. When it comes to finding out more about the benefits of music education and sharing it with others, there are so many ways to get access and get inspired.
Over the years, we’ve found that another great way to get inspired about educating others is to talk to the “greats” in music education.
In just a few weeks time in July 2013, the Fun Music Company will be hosting its first “Virtual Conference”. This is where we’re going to talk to some of the best teachers and advocates in music education and you’ll hear advocacy tips, research and quotes straight from the “masters” in our industry. To find out more click here.