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Future Focus: Children Are The Future

We were all children at one time. In fact, children are only children for a short time. This leaves the influence on children in a very valuable position as the develop into teens, young adults and contributing members of society. The intriguing situation is this; as young adults turn into adults they tend to forget that they once were children of young.

They concentrate on doing “adult things”, this means that children are left to be influenced by their teachers, social standings and parents. They are not influenced from the prospective of a child, but rather from the prospective of the adults that they are around. Furthermore, there is no arguing that children are most influenced by the authority figures in their life. Children are the future.

children-are-the-future

Children are the future.

As adults, we are in a unique position. We are able to influence the future of our society make-up by how we influence and impact the children of today. When contemplated, this is an immense power that we hold as individuals. This is not a space in which we find ourselves fighting over whats right or wrong, this is where there are only universal values at risk. These values are ingrained in every human being. Regardless race, religion, political views, economic status or societal status. These values sometimes are hard to place words to, but are always sought after as the highest form of graciousness towards fellow human beings.

In short, every human strives to be connected to another human in one form or another. And either we are creating systems that separate or connect us further. When we create a system that separates us we are alienating ourselves; doubt, uncertainty, risk, fear, aloneness, sadness and suffering are just a few of the results that stem from a influences that create separation from our fellow human beings. When we create systems that cultivate connection; happiness, flow, contentment, creativity, oneness, kindness and vision are just some that are created as a result of these connection systems.

A system that we are privileged to have at our disposal that creates this connection, is music. Music can soothe the mind and cultivate individual creativity. Furthermore, music unleashes the constant negativity that seems to haunt our every day social interactions. Recently, there has been a defunding of music in the American public school systems. What this does is alienate children from the massive benefits that music can provide. On average, the American elementary school student receives 80 minutes of music per week.  This is astounding and should be dealt with as a serious hindrance to our cultural future.

children-are-the-future-music

Music creates a connection amongst children and adults of all ages.

Recent studies have indicated that adolescent music education produces greater observable physical development in the brain, and an average of 27% higher math scores, 57 points higher SAT scores and a 46% increase in IQ scores. In addition to these documented benefits on intelligence, music education has been shown enhance learning in all other subject areas by improving their study skills, receptiveness to instruction, social and emotional development. Students that participate in school band or orchestra also experience the lowest rate of gang activity and substance abuse.

Most importantly, the cognitive and behavioral advantages of music education are shown to affect all students, regardless of their ethnicity, “at-risk” status, or socio-economic background. It has been reported that approximately 22% more applying music majors are admitted to medical schools than any other major, and that “the very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.”

If these findings don’t propel you into action, I don’t know what will… These results, standing along, should guarantee a higher budget allowance for music education in the American public school system.

If you are propelled to action, I ask you to sign the petition to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Let your voice be heard, not just for music education, but for the future of our society.

Thank you in advance! 🙂

-Thomas McGregor

 

Sources:

[1] Brian Foster, “Einstein and his Love of Music,” Physics World (Jan. 2005), .

[2] G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang and H. Steinmetz, “In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians,” Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (Liege, Belgium, 1994), 417-418.

[3] Amy Graziano, Matthew Peterson and Gordon Shaw, “Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training,” Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).

[4] College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ, 2001.

[5] Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994.

[6] “Benefits of Music Education,” MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 2002.

[7] Lewis Thomas, “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan (February 1994).

[8] Grant Venerable, “The Paradox of the Silicon Savior,” as reported in “The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools,” The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989.

[9] Shinichi Suzuki, Nurtured by Love, second ed., Athens OH: Senzay Publications, 1983, 79.

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