3 Reasons Why Now — More Than Ever — America Needs Music in its Schools

For the first time ever, music is now cited in federal statute as a stand-alone subject in schools. The timing could not be better.  After all, provision for the arts in school curricula should be a no-brainer requirement of a well-rounded education.  However, just because federal law is changing does not mean that schools are going to immediately adjust their schedules accordingly. Our information age has become central (for better or worse) […]

 

Why Scheduling More Performances Will Save Your Child’s Musical Life (and Your Music Program)

We are a few months into a new school year.  Has your child had a performance yet? When students open their instrument case for the first time, they are excited to begin their musical journey.  They also want to become good at playing their instrument.  But it doesn’t take long for most students to realize that creating beautiful sounds on an instrument isn’t as easy as it looks — and […]

 

Are We Really Teaching Students to be Creative When We Teach the Arts in Schools?

I believe we are sitting on the precipice of whole school reform in our country. Standardized testing has hit a tipping point; schools are still far behind when it comes to teaching critical twenty-first century skills; and there is a growing divide between the haves and have-nots that threatens to alter our society in ways we are not equipped to handle. But if our school system is dismantled tomorrow and built […]

 

Instrumental Music Education and the Power of Play in Our Schools

I have spent many years visiting public schools throughout our nation, and most times I see the same thing:  students hard at work.  There is always lots of work going on in our schools, and with the increased emphasis on meeting national and state standards there is more work coming.  My Kindergarten-bound daughter will get right to work when she goes to school next year on what used to be […]

 

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 […]