Klarinet Archive - Posting 000010.txt from 1998/03
From: Fred Jacobowitz <fredj@-----.edu>
Subj: School music - the REAL reason
Date: Sun, 1 Mar 1998 11:55:35 -0500
I invite (nay, ***IMPLORE***) all interested in perpetuating citizenship,
intelligent voters and the capacity of students to be taught to think, to
read with interest the following:
extracted from an article in the 'Baltimore Sun' Sunday, Jan. 8, 1998 by
Robert Sirota (Director, Peabody Conservatory) et. al. :
...Then came the compelling data reported in the February 1997
issue of "Neurological Research", indicating that those intuitions have
sound neurological bases. Psychologist Frances Rausher and physicist
Gordon Shaw found that musical training - specifically piano instruction -
is far superior to computer instruction in stumulating the intellectual
development of very young children.
Those children receiving twice-weekly keyboard lessons and daily
singing lessons performed 34% higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal
ability, a finding that suggests that music uniquely enhances the higher
brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.
..They spent only 15 minutes a day...
...Ms. Rauscher's researchers, working with 3-year-old children
from welfare families, some born with drug addictions, found that the
effect of music lessons on these kids was way above even the effect of
In a 1995 study by the College Board, students with course work in
music appreciation scored 61 points higher on the verbal and 46 points
higher on the math portion of the SAT tests. Scores for those with course
work or experience in music performance scored 51 points on the verbal
and 39 points higher on the math portion than those with no course work
or experience in the arts. ...In a 1993 study, students improved an
average of one to two months on reading for each month they participated
in the "Learning To Read Through The Arts" program in New York City.
There's alot of research out there, folks. We owe it to the
children (and our futures) to get the word out to school boards,
politicians, etc. For more information, I highly suggest contacting
Dr. Eileen T. Cline, a co-author of the above article and a researcher on
these issues. Her e-mail address is: <cline@-----.>
Clarinet/Sax Instructor, Peabody Preparatory
On Sun, 1 Mar 1998, Lee Hickling wrote:
> Roger Garrett wrote:
> >> Do you know WHY music was
> >> put in the public schools - accepted as a part of the curriculum - to
> >> begin with?
> and Bruce Caslinger said
> >Please tell me, I am curious.
> As a musician whose graduate degree was in school administration, and who
> has seen a lot of changes in education since he decided it was not the
> career for him, I can offer one explanation of why music was originally to
> the curriculum.
> At one time, within living memory (mine, for instance), not everyone stayed
> in school through the 12th grade. The curriculum for those who stayed was
> almost straight academic, although some schools had tracks for commercial,
> industrial and in rural areas agricultural students.
> Cutting to the chase, fewer students and a less varied curriculum meant
> that most districts' budgets for secondary education had some slack in
> them, even at a modest tax rate. There was room for a music teacher, or
> even a music department, without having to make hard choices about what
> would be offered and what dropped.
> This was toward the end of an era in which a piano in the parlor was
> normal, and many people knew how to play it, more or less. Community bands
> were common. News and entertainment media were not as omnipresent and
> intrusive. From the nineteenth century through the first three or four
> decades of the twentiest, music was one of the commonest kinds of
> recreation for many people, and that meant playing and singing, not
> listening to records or the radio or watching music videos.
> So learning music was considered part of education, not an optional extra.
> There was even music in the classrooms, at least in the elementary grades.
> Every room had a piano, and teachers had to know how to play it to be
> certified, at least in New York State.
> No one would have thought of justifying music education by its public
> relations value, or any other irrelevant reason. It was considered a good
> thing in itself. If any rationale had been thought necessary, it might have
> been that a school band and chorus were activities in which non-athletic
> students could take part and excel.
> In many schools, instrumental instruction past the beginner level was often
> on an individual basis. This was possible partly because the school day was
> longer, often running from 8 a.m. to nearly 5 p.m., even in rural areas
> where most students rode a bus.
> Sound incredible? That's the way it was, not so terribly long ago.
> By the way, this is my first post to the list. I subscribed a few weeks
> ago, but I've been lurking and enjoying it a lot.
> Lee Hickling <hickling@-----.net>