Music Lasts A Lifetime

The Importance of Music in Our Life

By Sam Johnson

“Music Lasts A Lifetime!”

   That’s the theme for “Music In Our Schools Month” (MIOSM), an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for Music Education which represents more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers and 60,000 honor students, with chapters located in each state of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and even in Europe.
    
March is the month officially designated for this special observance, because it is the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.
    
“Music In Our Schools Month” began as a single statewide celebration in 1973, and has grown over the decades to encompass a day, then a week, and then in 1985 to become a month long celebration of music in the school and community.
    
The goal of this month-long celebration of music is to raise public awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens of the benefits that music brings to their community and the impact it can make on people of all ages, especially students.

Music In Schools Resources

For more information on the importance of music in our life, click the link below:
Resources and web links for Music in Our Lives

     Here are a few facts that underscore just how important music is:
     
-- Music was first authorized as a regular subject of instruction in 1838. In 1994, the National Standards for Arts Education were accepted by U.S. Department of Education, reaffirming the arts as being an essential part of education.
     
-- In 2002, the arts, including music, were deemed a "core academic subject" along with mathematics, science and English in federal education policy
      -- Numerous reports by acclaimed researchers and education groups reveal that students who participate in music find success in 3 important areas: Success in School and Learning; Success in Society; and Success in Life.

Success in School and Learning
    
• Using 12 years of data collected by the National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS) where students were studied for the same 12-year period, the data reveals that students who were highly involved with the arts outperformed their less-involved peers in all socioeconomic groups. These students are more likely to attend four-year colleges, progress to higher education faster, and get better grades.

     • The College Entrance Examination Board found that students in music scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no music or arts participation.

     • U.S. Department of Education data show that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music during the middle school and high school years show significantly higher levels of math, science, and reading proficiency by grade 12.

     • Other studies show that music majors are the most successful medical school applicants, and that overall, students who participate in music in school have a better attitude toward learning and are less likely to drop out of school.

 Success in Society
    
• A 2007 Harris Interactive Poll of working adults indicated that music education impacted five skill areas: ability to work toward common goals, striving for excellence in group settings, disciplined approach to solving problems, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations.

     • A study of students involved in music and the arts indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks.

     • Other studies reveal that because of school music programs, students connect to each other better—greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm

 Success in Life
    
• A study that outlines responses for 1,150 teens, reveals the meaning and importance of music participation to life-at-large, including the building of one’s character and life skills, social benefits encompassing camaraderie, the acceptance of differences and high morale at school and home, and distraction from vices such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, gangs, sex and suicidal behaviors.

     • Another study revealed that “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."

     The conclusion from a study titled "Third Space: When Learning Matters," found that “The challenge to American education has never been simply to raise test scores. . . the challenge has always been to raise citizens who are capable of active participation in the social, cultural, political and economic life of the world’s longest experiment in democracy, an experiment demanding a free, educated and committed citizenry. We are amazed to discover anew the role of the arts in realizing that vision and creating that democracy.”  

     Clearly then, research does show that "Music Lasts A Lifetime!"


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