The common wisdom shared among music educators when discussing the significance of music education usually contains figures on how music promotes skills in math and social sciences and that studies point to that fact that music is a catalyst for brain development. The good news is that there are very few (or perhaps no one) that will dispute this. The better news is that music, when done creatively, cooperatively, and ubiquitously in a school community, gives kids a greater sense of belonging. When woven into the fabric of a strong social curriculum, children learn better!
Children are motivated to learn when they feel a sense of allegiance to the community around them. They learn better when there is a story or series of experiences that bind their school and peer group. Children learn more quickly when they are having fun. Songs promote a sense of place and belonging. Music spreads the stories that bind community and of course, music IS fun. This is why music education is important in public education. The very reasons we sing happy birthday, or play parlor games at a family gathering is why music education is important. Growth is accelerated by these essential shared experiences
Over the coming months I will document what I experience every day in and out of my K-5 music classroom at Symonds school. The administration and teachers at Symonds have mastered the art of marrying academics, social curriculum, and the arts. I will attempt to encapsulate how a school which (among a LARGE percentage of public schools) was for a couple of years designated a “school in need of improvement” and pulled itself out. This is seldom done as the metric is designed for perpetual failure.
Please stay tuned for more…