Term Paper: Music in the Upper Grades

Pages: 4 (1465 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] An association of music and math has, in fact, long been noted. Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients. For all these reasons, it deserves strong support in our educational system, along with the other arts, the sciences, and athletics." (DeBakey) Music teaches communication, diversity, and important life-skills.

Participation in music in Junior High and High Schools has also been shown to improve overall development of intelligence. It has long been believed by philosophers and artists that this is true, but modern science allows us to actually prove that musicians are, in essence, smarter than other kids. Higher levels of brain activity and functioning have been recorded in youth musicians and adults who have had participation in music since childhood. Abstract reasoning skills, which are the skills employed when studying and understanding science and mathematics, are greatly enhanced by music participation; one study found that music programs enhanced abstract reasoning skills even more than computer instruction. (Shaw et al.) Students who are trained in music have shown vastly higher IQ scores in the spacial-reasoning area in countless studies. In fact, music is one of the only areas of study that will exercise the entire brain rather than one specialized part. Imaging tests show that all four of the cortex's lobes and all parts of the cerebellum are activated by sight-reading sheet music and playing music. (Sergent et al.) All in all, music may be the single most brain-developing and intelligence-boosting subject a student can study because it works the brain and develops all of the skills needed to achieve intellectually. "The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling -- training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression." (Ratey)

Participation in music classes and other music activities helps students find success in junior high and high school, as well as boosting brain activity and the development of intelligence. Students who study music are more productive members of society, and they will achieve higher personal success than those who did not participate in music studies. Unfortunately, narrow-visioned school administrators, school board members, and politicians do not often enough recognize the vital role that music classes and programs play in the health, happiness, and success of all students. Strained budgets and attempts to focus on education "basics" have minimized or cut out music programs in many schools, and students who do not have access to music education are at a serious disadvantage for the rest of their educational career and in their life beyond high school. It is vital that music education be incorporated into the overall curriculum of every Junior High and High School for the benefit of the children and the future of our society.

Bibliography

Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga. "Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts." Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.

DeBakery, Michael M.D. Baylor College of Music. Quote Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Leading Heart Surgeon, Baylor College of Music.

Plato. "The Republic." The Internet Classics Archive. 360 BCE. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

Ratey, John J., MD. A User's Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.

Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B. (1992). "Distributed neural network underlying musical sight reading and keyboard performance." Science, 257. 1992.

Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb. "Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial-temporal reasoning," Neurological Research, Vol. 19. February 1997.

Thomas, Lewis. "The Case for Music in the Schools." Phi Delta Kappan. Februay 1994.

U.S. Department of Education. Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years. U.S. Department of Education, 1997.

Venerable, Grant. "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior." The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools. New York: The Center for the Arts in the Basic… [END OF PREVIEW]

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