Imagine your life without music. Really, without music. No radio, none of your favorite songs playing at your command, no iPod, no soundtracks to movies or TV shows, no nothing.
Can you do it?
I’ve participated in music programs for as long as I can remember. In 4th grade I started singing at church and in choir, and as I progressed to high school I went on to participate in Choir, Liturgical Ensemble, Madrigals, Musical Theater and even become Captain and Band President of my high school marching band. Music, very quickly, became not only something that I participated in regularly, but it was defining who I was, who I’ve become, and who I will become.
Music programs are being cut from school budgets across the country, leaving children no opportunity to have the experiences like I’ve had, and like I’m sure many of you have had. Budgets are being cut, or completely taken away, leaving children with nothing to hold on to.
More importantly, music provides an outlet for children. It allows creativity and ways of thinking that other educational programs do not promote. It provides excitement throughout the long school days, and something to look forward to between all of the structured class time. Not to mention, that time and time again it has been proven that children who participate in music education outshine and better perform on standardized testing than the children who did not have the advantage to.
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And why I’m sad I didn’t know about it sooner.
I have been a music connoisseur and seeker since the days I can remember. I would go out and buy CDs of musicians and bands I had never heard of, or only recognized by word of mouth, just to simply take in all that they were and created. I would scour online for free downloads, music, albums and everything that I could possibly find by any artist I knew (or didn’t know, in some cases) even a little bit about.
With the birth of iTunes, I was so happy to have all of my music in one, organized and simple to use space. Especially a space that could house so much music! The one downfall, though, was money. As we all know, it doesn’t grow on trees, and as a student, I definitely don’t have a budget to afford buying music to my heart’s content. This became a problem over the years, even with Pandora and YouTube and other music sites where one can listen, but not keep on a computer.
Another thing I was always very interested in was sharing my music with friends, and hearing the music they were interested in. Particularly those friends of mine who liked a wide variety of artists, especially ones that I had not heard of or listened to before.
Then, this week, I was introduced to… SPOTIFY. To my dismay, I had not known about this little speck from heaven sooner….
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Right after I posted my previous post about the importance of music education and the arts, I went on Facebook and found a lovely article that one of my friends (who is also now an intern at VH1 Save The Music — contact me for more info, if interested in the internship!) posted.
Karl Dean, the mayor of Nashville, launched a new program for the Nashville public school districts called “Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project.” The goal of the entire project is to redesign music education as it is known today, and make Music City an innovator and leader in the way music education is approached and taught…. Continue reading →
Yesterday morning I had the pleasure to attend an event at Norman Binkley Elementary school with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, Energizer and country singer Jimmy Wayne. This event was part of VH1 Save The Music and Energizer’s “Positive Energy” campaign, where the two partnered together to give musical instruments to select schools throughout the nation. Now, if you know anything about the Save The Music Foundation, then you know that this is their mission and goal, that they are an “organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education.” (STM.com).
Now, as you might know, I had the privileged to intern with STM this summer in Manhattan. In my “About” section, I go-on about this probably a bit more than I should. But, it’s with good reason. It was truly life changing and eye-opening for me. It not only opened doors and windows and all these other outlets for me, and showed me ways I could use what I was learning in the class room, or how happy I could be with a future profession, but I was also working for something I felt passionate about — music education…
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