Why Music Education is Not Prepared (Yet) to Lead Whole School Reform

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As sure as the sun rises and sets, every few years our government rolls out a new brand of education reform.  Some legislation is epic (NCLB, anyone?); other laws "chip away" at our education system in small chunks. The Every Student Succeeds Act … [Continue reading]

4 Things Holding Middle Schools Back From A Rich Arts Curriculum

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While there are some middle schools in our nation where the arts are a well-established cornerstone of curricula, there are far too many schools that provide little or no offerings.  Although there are many challenges and constraints that can affect … [Continue reading]

3 Reasons Why Now — More Than Ever — America Needs Music in its Schools

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For the first time ever, music is now cited in federal statute as a stand-alone subject in schools. The timing could not be better.  After all, provision for the arts in school curricula should be a no-brainer requirement of a well-rounded … [Continue reading]

A Lost Art: The Power of Solitude Through Music Instruction in Schools

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As a public school music supervisor, I saw firsthand the shift in our education system toward an emphasis on "constant student engagement" in the classroom.  To this day, there still is this push to keep students busy from the moment class begins to … [Continue reading]

Why Scheduling More Performances Will Save Your Child’s Musical Life (and Your Music Program)

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We are a few months into a new school year.  Has your child had a performance yet? When students open their instrument case for the first time, they are excited to begin their musical journey.  They also want to become good at playing their … [Continue reading]

Are We Really Teaching Students to be Creative When We Teach the Arts in Schools?

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I believe we are sitting on the precipice of whole school reform in our country. Standardized testing has hit a tipping point; schools are still far behind when it comes to teaching critical twenty-first century skills; and there is a growing … [Continue reading]

Why Music Isn’t Just for “Smart” Kids

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This is a guest post from Leanne Sowul.  Leanne is a music teacher and writer from the Hudson Valley, NY.  You can find more of her writing at Words From The Sowul. For the past thirteen years, I’ve worked in a public school district nationally … [Continue reading]

What Percentage of Students are “Meant” to be Playing a Musical Instrument in School?

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If we take a moment to look at school music programs around our nation, we may be inclined to believe that music instrument instruction is a luxury reserved for a select few.  We may also be holding on to an archaic belief that only a small … [Continue reading]

What is Music and the Arts’ Place in the Real Mission of our Education System?

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"Our Public Schools will provide an excellent education that prepares our students for college and to earn high paying jobs."  I came across this (very real) school mission statement recently.  While it is, in my opinion, egregiously … [Continue reading]

Who Actually Quits Musical Instrument Instruction — Children or Their Parents?

Kinhaven 2014-303

How many times have we heard from adults that they wish their parents didn’t allow them to quit their musical instrument when they were younger? There comes a time in a large percentage of music students' lives when they want to quit their … [Continue reading]