As some of you may know, and if you’ve read my About Me page, you’ll know that I was originally trained as a music educator. I’ve always loved singing in choir, but when I was in college, I decided that I wanted to embark on the other side of the music stand. I changed my major to Music Education and started to take classes in Conducting, Secondary Education, and Vocal Pedagogy. During my time in these classes, I started to get exposed to the educational side of music and all of the challenges that it comes with.
Ask any music educator, and they will tell you that music is essential to the development of children. Many studies have been performed around the need for music, the benefits of incorporating them into a curriculum, and how music affects a child’s develop mentally and socially. There are also a number of different schools of thought on how music benefits (or hinders) our education system. Here you can read an interesting article on music education and the its benefits. I, personally, believe (and yes I’m biased) that music education should be considered an essential part of a child’s education and their development.
If you have ever studied music in any form (been in a school band, sang in choir, studied piano or an instrument, music theory, etc.), you can say that music plays an integral part in our culture. The study of music touches on many subjects outside of simple music theory – historical perspectives on pieces and works, scientific properties of sound and instrument design, mathematical structures of scales and harmonics… not to mention creative elements in expression and composition. Any music educator can use the context of musical performance, music theory, composition, or musical research to delve into other subjects and stimulate their students’ learning.
As music educators build their programs and fight for budgets, instruments, programs, and students, they need certain things in order to grow their programs, like any other business. Think of them as their own non-profit organizations. They need recognition in order to succeed, and the community must support them in turn. Music programs can help to make a school better, and local news outlets, media programs, and social media groups need to support these music programs. Advertising, publicity, and fundraising can make or break a music program, and as we’ve discussed here, that program plays a pivotal role in child development, not to mention provides creative outlets for students to express themselves.
Coming up: a guest post from a local music educator on exposure in the media and the need for public support. Stay tuned!
Photo credit: Recreation x Leisure