4 Ways Parents Can Ensure Their Child Sticks with Instrumental Music When They Graduate to Middle School

Graduating from one to school to the next is both an exciting and crazy time, to say the least.  The changes that are occurring biologically, socially, and academically in children are enough to make parents’ heads spin.  With a change in school comes a  lot of unanswered questions:  What will the schedule be like?  Will there be a ton of homework?  What classes are my child’s friends taking?  How do […]


The Music Education (or Creativity) Achievement Gap in America, and How We Can Begin to Fix It

Our nation has been deeply committed to closing the achievement gap that exists in our education system for almost 15 years. Achievement gaps occur when one group of students outperforms another group and the difference in average scores for the two groups is statistically significant. Most school systems use Hispanic-White and Black-White scores in mathematics and reading to determine the gap for these groups and to illuminate patterns and changes in these […]


How Parents can Change Their Family Tree Through Their Child’s Music Education

What if everyone believed that there was no such thing as natural talent and inborn gifts? Our world is obsessed with discovering innate abilities.  Our media — and subsequently our schools — have created a culture where most people believe that we all have fixed and inborn gifts, as opposed to skills that can be built and developed.  But what if children were taught that all of the greats from Beethoven to […]


Why Students Don’t Like School (and How Music Instruction Changes That)

We have learned more about how the brain works in the last decade than ever before. Even with all the new knowledge we have about how children learn, our schools have been slow to adapt accordingly.  In my time as a teacher and administrator, I have often been amused to see school leaders and academic teachers scrambling to adjust their delivery of instruction to match what music teachers have been doing […]


An End-of-Year Letter to New Music Parents

Dear Parents: As our school year winds down, I would like to congratulate you on completing the first year of your child’s instrumental music study!  It’s amazing to think that only a few months ago, your child chose an instrument that  “spoke to” them, and opened the case for the first time.  We take this time to celebrate not only the hard work of your children, but also the mindsets that they have developed […]


Music Education’s Role in a Culture of “College Preparedness”

While the United States used to pride itself on the percentage of its young people who successfully passed through the higher education system, things have changed drastically over the last decade.  Now, education policymakers are focusing all their energies and monies on preparing K-12 students for “college readiness” — and the best way they can come up with a quantifiable way to assess “readiness” is… …wait for it… …more high […]