Music in Our Schools Essay

1953 Words 8 Pages
Music in Our Schools

In most recent years, schools have been fighting to keep music programs alive in school systems across the nation. Some schools believe that due to budget factors, music should be cut out of the academic program, to save some money. But what is widely unknown is that schools that have good music programs do better in areas of math and sometimes reading. A high tech music program called Kodaly, was instituted into the schools of Hungary. If a person were to look at the school today, there are “…no third graders who cannot sing on pitch and sing beautifully” (Dickinson, 1993, p.1). Also, the students of the Hungarian schools academic achievement in math and science “ continues to be outstanding” (Dickinson,
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Gardiner, a biophysicist, says:
“Learning arts skills forces mental ‘stretching’ useful to other areas of learning: the math learning advantage[ found in this study] could, for example, reflect the development of mental skills such as ordering, and other elements of thinking on which mathematical learning at this age also depends” (MENC, #1).

This basically is saying that, yes, learning music helps you in school, but not only in music class. The Davidson School in Augusta, Georgia, is now #1 academically in the country after beginning its music and arts program in 1981. Richard Voss, of IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Center, found that “…all music shares a simple mathematical formulation that expresses how notes change in pitch over the course of a musical work” (MENC, #2, para 4). This statement supports the thesis that music directly effects academic achievement.

Dr. James S. Catterall conducted a study called NELS88, which stands for the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988. This consists of 25,000 students, in1000 different schools with data collected on 8th graders and 10th graders. The results of the study showed, once again, that the impact of music and the arts has a positive influence on education and student performance. Eighth graders that were highly involved in music that were scoring in the top 2 quartiles of standardized tests was 66.8%, as opposed to those who were not highly involved in music, being only a 42.7%.

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