Archives for 13 Apr,2009

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You wouldn’t know it from seeing budget cuts in music programs, but as musicians and music teachers, we know how important music is to life and society, and we see weekly the effects it has on students.  The National Association for Music Education (MENC) keeps on top of scientific studies, as well as comments by leaders in society, about the important effects of music on children and adults alike.  Below are a few samples from the MENC page summarizing these studies and comments; in a few cases, I’ve gone into more detail than MENC does.

“When I hear people asking how do we fix the education system, I tell them we need to do the opposite of what is happening, cutting budgets by cutting music programs….Ask a CEO what they are looking for in an employee and they say they need people who understand teamwork, people who are disciplined, people who understand the big picture. You know what they need? They need musicians.”  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, 6/07

A few years ago, a Canadian study of 6 year olds demonstrated that music lessons improves kids’ IQs.  Many people assumed that higher IQs among music students relates to better family situations,  [···]

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The Perfect Wrong Note by William Westney is one of the best books I have ever read! It is a must for any musician – performer, teacher, or student.

The book is all about learning to trust yourself, and how to get the most out of the time you spend at your instrument. As the title suggests, it delves into ‘mistakes’ and why they occur, what they can teach us, and why we shouldn’t worry so much about avoiding them throughout the learning process. This book turns some conventional teaching approaches on their heads and explains some damaging effects of old-school mentalities of perfection and self-criticism. [···]

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