Don’t Forget Music Education Amid Coronavirus Closures

Being at home, especially during a health crisis, can be stressful, boring and isolating. Online music education programs can enable students to stay in touch with school and collaborate online whether through videos, ear training games, or tools that let them record songs and or practice their music.

As more and more schools announce closings, it will be a challenge to keep students engaged with music in a meaningful way. This is a short article, but it provides some basic ideas for both teachers and parents to consider implementing.

Don’t Forget Music Education Amid Coronavirus Closures | Thrive Global

Settlement Music School, Hearing First partner to offer virtual music education class for deaf or hard of hearing children

Music is a critical component to ensuring children with hearing loss reach their full potential and it’s our goal to break down geographic barriers to ensure more families have this opportunity to learn from a premier music education provider like Settlement.

I’m sure children with hearing loss are categorically overlooked by the typical approaches to music education. I’d love to see more inventive partnerships like this that allow music to be taught much more inclusively.

Settlement Music School and Hearing First partner to offer virtual music education class for deaf or hard of hearing children | The Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Schools need to embrace music’s powerful benefits

A 12th-grade student in Pennsylvania has done a rather commendable job of arguing for the inclusion of music education in schools, choosing to focus on its mental benefits in particular:

Unfortunately, too many school officials view music classes as luxuries rather than what they are: absolute necessities. Our schools are on the brink of a serious mental health crisis among young people — 70% of public school students with a psychological disorder are not receiving any therapy whatsoever. Yet, what do school officials do? They deprive students of a music education, which is proven to provide psychological benefits.

Schools need to embrace music’s powerful benefits | lancasteronline.com

 

Jared Cassedy Named Recipient of GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award

The GRAMMY Foundation created the Music Educator Award two years ago to recognize exceptional music teachers, who can be nominated by administrators, peers, students, and parents. This year’s award goes to Jared Cassedy, a band director in New Hampshire:

As a tribute to the thousands of outstanding music educators everywhere, I cannot thank The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation enough for helping us to advocate for and to celebrate the importance of music education across the nation.

Mr. Cassedy and this year’s other nine finalists will all receive honorariums for themselves and their schools. Much can (and has) been said about the validity of the typical GRAMMY Awards, but it really is encouraging to see the creation and presentation of this award. The GRAMMY Foundation maintains a large presence in today’s music world, and it’s great to see it using its position to promote music education in our schools.

Jared Cassedy Named Recipient of GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award

Focus on STEM overshadows importance of music education

We often hear the saying, “We test what we value.” I would respectfully suggest that exactly the opposite is true. In fact, the things that we value and care about the most are those things that are precisely the most resistant to measurement.

Michigan State University’s Mitchell Robinson provides a wonderful essay on the state and future of the arts’ place in a child’s education.

Focus on STEM overshadows importance of music education | Michigan Radio

ASU alum enacts positive change in communities through music

“The music community, and especially informal music education, can do wonders for improving children’s self esteem and for helping them build identity and character,” said Swietlik. “All of the organizations did this through different means but they had similar results: The children were becoming more proud and functioning citizens within society. They were kids that could dream, kids that could see a future.”

You can talk about test scores and GPAs and neurons ’til you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day this is what it all comes down to. Kids that can dream, kids that can see a future.

ASU alum enacts positive change in communities through music | ASU News

The Roots Are Taking Our Failing Music Education System Into Their Own Hands

“It cultivated us. It educated us,” Questlove said of his high school arts experience. “This is more than just pay it forward or celeb guilt. This is necessary. … It keeps you out of trouble. It helps develop your personality. If you take that away, you’re just a machine.”

And just like that, Questlove easily articulates the true value of music education better than almost anyone I’ve come across.

The Roots Are Taking Our Failing Music Education System Into Their Own Hands – Mic

Music Education For Creativity

Russ Whitehurst, an education policy expert at the Brookings Institution, says he thinks the statistics about music education say something different. He points to a 2010 U.S. Department of Education report that found 94 percent of public elementary schools offer some kind of music classes, even if hours are being cut back in many places … “I think music teachers are crying wolf, largely, if you look at the national trends.”

Amazing. “Some kind of music classes” could mean literally anything. Blowing on a recorder twice a week. Learning an Orff instrument one quarter and not touching it again for an entire year. Just singing for a couple minutes when there’s an opening in homeroom. Students deserve better than “some kind” of music education.

Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores : NPR

GRAMMY awards honor is just the beginning

The entirety of music education, encapsulated in four sentences:

I’d love to believe we all could make the case based on the intrinsic value we gain as individuals or the increased connections we make. It was reported that after the Columbine shootings, those who participated in the drama program were found to be those who healed and reconnected fastest. For these kids it was the only thing that brought them back from that tragedy. However, the bureaucrats speak in test scores and metrics, and we as arts educators need to wage this battle as well.

GRAMMY Awards honor is just the beginning, according to Lou Spisto | Communities Digital News

What is the most important issue in music education today?

Professors from Florida, Michigan, and others offer their answers to this question with surprising variety. Some I’m on board with:

Due to a lack of state level policy regarding music education, many children have no music teacher in their school building. Although there are rich opportunities for outside of school community music in the United States, many children cannot afford to pay for music instruction outside of the school setting. Citizens interested in making a difference in music education must advocate for a well-prepared, certified music teacher in every school building.

While others have me scratching my head:

The most important issue in music education today is one that has existed for as long as has formal music education: assessment.

What is the most important issue in music education today? | OUPblog.