Music Education Advocacy
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U.S. Schools Fall Short in Providing Adequate Financial Support for Music Education, Families Step Up

U.S. Schools Fall Short in Providing Adequate Financial Support for Music Education, Families Step Up | Music Education Advocacy | Scoop.it
Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) July 09, 2013 -- Music education experience in public schools largely determined by depth of families’ pocketbooks.
Jessica Zelenack's insight:

This article addresses the financial issue of music in our schools. It is a testament to the importance music education that parents are so willing to financial support the programs. Even so, it is not okay that these programs are beig funded by extra-curricular and booster funds. Students are learning academic information and skills that, without "extra" money, would be unavailable to them. Necessities such as instruction staff, instruments, uniforms and music should really be provided by the school. It is not the job of the boosters to provide a classroom learning environment; it is their job to supplement. This distinction is becoming blurred and it is necessary to define this line and correctly fund our programs.

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Gilbert Galindo: The Importance of Music in Our Society

Jessica Zelenack's insight:

In this article, composer Gilbert Galindo is postulating about where music fits into our society. While he is saying that he hopes classical music finds it's way back into mainstream culture, he is also advocating for music education on the basis that music is an integral piece of our society.

The question of music in the schools is constantly challenged because music is an "art" and therefore a privilege and not necessarily academic. But, this can be directly combated by the idea that educating students on global culture has become a necessity in our schools. As Galindo states, "The role of arts and music in our society fill a void that we all need in order to enrich ourselves and our culture."

Music is not a separate faction of our society but is instead ingrained in our society and in thousands of others. As a result, it is perposterous to consider that music will not be taught in schools, especially seeing as it directly affects students' everyday lives.

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Using Music to Close the Academic Gap

Using Music to Close the Academic Gap | Music Education Advocacy | Scoop.it
New studies on the cognitive advantages of learning instruments at early ages
Jessica Zelenack's insight:

This article summarizes multiple studies proving that music education is actually able to close the academic achievement gap between lower-income students and their cohorts. Multiple studies including the Harmony Project and SIMPHONY study are proving with continuous research that giving lower income studnets access to music education levels the playing field. These studies are far from over. Kase, the author, points out the ironic truth that these studies are occuring " at a time when 1.3 million of the nation’s public elementary school students receive no specific instruction in music—and the children who do not have access to music education are disproportionately those who attend high-poverty schools." This means we truly need to recognize the value of music education in EVERY school. It should not be a privilege but instead a right in student education.

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Dissertation: The Viability of Music as an Academic Subject at Secondary School Level by Gail Susan Jacobs

Jessica Zelenack's insight:

This master's thesis was submitted by a student from the University of South Africa evaluates music as an academic subject in secondary schools. This serves this curation project in two ways:

1) Provides extensive research on music as an academic subject

2) Makes this a global issue where it is a problem outside of the United States

One of Jacobs main arguments is that music has been socially viewed as an elitist subject. Through political and social turmoil in South Africa, only the brightest and wealthiest students of the "correct" ethnic background were given the opportunity to study music. In addition to limiting exposure to specific students, music performance is emphasized over theory and history, eliminating major aspects of the entire study.
It is no surprise when you only make a subject avilable to specific populations and them limit the content that is taught, then the subject loses its inherent value simply by how it is being taught.

From this research I think we need to consider 2 major facotrs: 1) how music is taught and 2) The exposure of students to music early, often and in multiple forms and contexts 

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10+ Values Marching Band Students learn

10+ Values Marching Band Students learn | Music Education Advocacy | Scoop.it
See Teens At Their Best This is a followup article to an article, "14 Ways to Volunteer for a Marching Band to Appreciate and Applaud what is Good about Teenage America", which focused on ways to s...
Jessica Zelenack's insight:

This articles identifies some of the values students learn from participating in marching band. Each value is supported by multiple examples. It seems that the values taught in marcing band align well with the values of 21st century learners. Some of the student outcomes identified in the P21 Framework include the following:

Communicate ClearlyCollaborate with OthersManage Goals and TimeInteract Effectively with OthersWork Effectively in Diverse TeamsProduce ResultsGuide and Lead OthersBe Responsible to OthersAll of these are identified in this article and experienced in band programs across the country. With innate values such as these, there seems to be no doubt that music classes already align well with school curriculum.
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Learning Literacy through Music | Oneota Reading Journal

Jessica Zelenack's insight:

A hot topic in education right now is student literacy. This article connects music studies and student literacy. By participating in music classes, students are expanding their literacy skills in an authentic way. As the article states, skills such as phoneme awareness and visual focus (along with many others) occur in music classes. Literacy goes beyond simply reading and writing. It also directly relates to comprehension and conversational skills both of which develop when experiencing/studying/learning music.

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Teaching Music Cross-Curricular Contexts

Jessica Zelenack's insight:

In this article, Barnes connects music education with skills identified in the P21 course framework. Although this curation is focused around music as a core academic subject, cross-curricular teaching is up and coming goal in education. As a result, it would be irresponsible to ignore the obvious connections between music and other academic subjects. In this article, Barnes identifies 5 resources of cross-curricular teaching: 
1. Hierarchical 

2. Multi-disciplinary

3. Interdisciplinary

4. Opportunisitic

5. Double Focus

With each of these, Barnes gives a specific example of music and another subject being taught simultaneously in order to achieve cross-curricular education. Barnes places a lot of emphasis on the emotional effects of this cooperation and the soft skills it teaches. These connections directly relate to the P21 framework proving how music is an essential piece of students' education.

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ERIC - Music Makes You Smarter: A New Paradigm for Music Education? Perceptions and Perspectives from Four Groups of Elementary Education Stakeholders, Canadian Journal of Education, 2011

|Through 14 years of teaching music in the Greater Toronto Area, the "music makes you smarter" notion has imbued many of the conversations I have had with multiple stakeholders in public education.
Jessica Zelenack's insight:

In this article John Luke Vitale studies the notion that "music makes you smarter" and then analyzes the effects of this idea. His studies prove that music does indeed increase students' cognitive abilities. But there is great danger in this. By using the argument that "music makes you smarter," educators are relying on keeping music in the school for its external and cross-curricular benefits. While it is important that music is cross-curricular (like all subjects should be), it is also important that music be taught for music's sake. Vitale grasps why music should be taught for music's sake in the following statement: "Music at its core is a universal entity that permeates and imbues the lives of humans on a daily basis." Therefore, music should be taught not simply because it benefits other subjects, but because it affects each and every one of us in our every day lives.

 

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The Study of Music as an Academic Subject by Carleton Sprague Smith (Music Educators Journal Vol. 49 No. 1)

Jessica Zelenack's insight:

In this article, Smith argues as to why music is an acdemic study. While only pat of the journal is available online, it can be accessed through payment or your local library.

Smith argues that music in itself is an academic study because it is naturely intergrated in our society and has been for thousands of years.

"Music is an integral part of human culture...a social phenomena of universal existence." Her idea is that music should naturally be in the public schools simply because it is already apart of the study of math, literature, history and language. She argues that "we should get away from the idea that all knowledge must be compartmentalized...music does not exist in a vacuum." If we followed this idea, educators would be addressing the interdisciplinary need in our schools and the question of music as an academic subject would not even exist.

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Negatives of Music in School | eHow

Negatives of Music in School | eHow | Music Education Advocacy | Scoop.it
The presence of music programs in schools is a widely debated topic as a result of the fact that music programs may consume an abundance of time and money.
Jessica Zelenack's insight:

We're starting off this curation project with a blog post that identifies reasons why music in the schools is a disadvantage. Blogs are based upon opinions and I do not want to disregard anyone's feelings about this topic. Even so, I plan to disparage the issues presented in this blog and, therefore, this blog against music education is actually great introduction for Music Education Advocacy.

 In this blog, the author identifies 4 negatives of music in schools:

1) Expense: Instruments and space cost require a large budget

2) Detracts from Academics:  Time spent practicing and in music activities could be spent doing homework and studying

3) Promotion of Competition: The use of leadership roles and solo opportunities lead to competition, bad feelings and rivalry between students.

4) Stolen Items: Student use of expensive instruments and supplies "usually" leads to these materials being damaged or stolen.

 

It is no surprise that I disagree with these statements. But everyone's opinions deserve to be heard. Even so, I plan on using this curation project to disprove these minor concerns and prove why music is an academic study that deserves to be incorporated to our schools.

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