In most cultures, music making has typically been regarded as nothing more than an enjoyable pastime and has even been looked down upon as a sign of laziness. In a well-known fable by Aesop, a grasshopper spends the summer months doing nothing but playing and making music while the ants are all hard at work gathering winter provisions. Consequently, when winter comes, the grasshopper finds himself with no resources and turns to the ants for help, receiving only scorn and rebuke for his laziness. This idea has lead to the belief that teaching music to our children is not important and won't have much effect on them unless they go so far as to become concert musicians. Most people fail to realize the immense impact that even a little exposure to the right kind of music has on young minds. Music has many long-lasting benefits and has potential to improve cognitive functioning, build confidence, teach responsibility and discipline, and unite culture. The ancient Greeks understood this and integrated music into their lives as an important form of expression. In fact, nearly all societies that excel intellectuallythe leading nations in science and mathematics includedhave music as one of the most important subjects in their elementary and secondary schools. America, on the other hand, fails to realize why it is falling further behind in the race for technology and the competition to produce more brilliant scientific minds.
There are many seemingly valid arguments that fight music programs in schools nationwide, considering it a frivolous commodity' that serves only to detract from learning time, drain school funds, and teach children (like the grasshopper in the fable) to be lazy and careless. The common idea is that it simply isn't worth the trouble and music programs are being cut from regular curriculum. At elementary school level, more than one half of all school districts in the United States have no full time music teacher (Ballam).
[...] It is the right brain—the creativity and human sensitivity—that good music has the power to nurture. We are so concerned about spending extra money on the arts in our schools, but every year, sue to the absence of emotional discipline, we graduate illiterates and criminals who only force more money out of us to spend on welfare and prisons—something that could very well be avoided if we only realized the importance of the arts. Note that the phrase ‘good music' is repeated again and again. [...]
[...] On the other hand, many forms of popular music lack this order but instead generate the exact opposite results. predict that music lacking complexity or which is repetitive may interfere with rather than enhance abstract reasoning” (Ballam). Rap, in particular, which emphasizes a heavy, repeating beat, literally interferes with the way the brain works. There are many instances where people have done things they normally wouldn't as a result of this kind of ‘brain damaging' music, including suicide, illicit sex, rowdiness, racism, and even murder. [...]
[...] Studies reveal that musical brain learning window 3 to 19 years” (Ballam). There is evidence that early exposure to the arts can literally raise a student's score on standardized tests, and that music students in general score higher statistics show that takers with coursework or experience in music performance scored 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the test, and 29 points higher on the math portion as compared to students with no coursework or experience in the arts. [...]
[...] Web Nov Leenman, Tracey. "An Open Letter to Parents." School Band and Orchestra 2011: 26-30. ProQuest Central. Web Nov "Music in Ancient Greece." LyrAvlos. N.p., n.d. Web Nov OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. n.d Nov Pane, Debra Mayes, and Angela Salmon. "Author's Camp: Facilitating Literacy Learning Through Music." Journal of Reading Education 36.2 (2011): 36-42. OmniFile Full Text Select. [...]
[...] Page by Page books 1-1. Web . Ballam, Michael. Music and the Mind. Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre. Web Nov < http://www.ufoc.org/index.php?p_resource=about_ballam_music#> Central Nervous System; New Survey Finds Many Families Out of Tune on Music Education." Education Business Weekly (2011): 134. ProQuest Central. Web Nov Hanna-Pladdy, Brenda, and Alicia MacKay. "The Relation Between Instrumental Musical Activity And Cognitive Aging." Neuropsychology 25.3 (2011): 378-386. PsycARTICLES. [...]
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