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Why Back To School Means Back To Basics For Music Education

Forbes – Danny Ross

“With the new school year upon us, it’s warming to remember the musical highlights of our upbringing — whether it’s singing in a school play, sitting at the piano for the first time, or practicing the recorder in your bedroom. There are lots of statistics that show the benefits of music education, from increased graduation rates to boosted SAT scores. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped public schools across the country from cutting programs and decreasing resources.” (more)

Study helps children hit the right note in supporting autistic peers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Led by Anna Cook, Ph.D. student at the University of Surrey, researchers found that the interactive sessions produced findings that could potentially reduce bullying of autistic students. The research investigated the impact of school-based music lessons on children aged nine to eleven years old, both with and without autism. Split into two groups, one a combination of those with and without the condition, and the other group consisting of those without, the children received eleven weekly singing classes that were specifically designed to increase social interaction and communication skills.” (more)

The arts teach us how to express ourselves – and give us freedom to fail

The Guardian – Daisy Buchanan

“The German word for protractor is “winkelmesser”. I learned this during a stuffy late-autumn afternoon in 1998, and I will never, ever forget it. Online banking passwords come and go, I’m not entirely sure of the date of my wedding anniversary and I couldn’t tell you the exact number of women named Ellie in the most recent series of Love Island, but “winkelmesser” would be the word that died on my lips with me, if I met my demise in the manner of Citizen Kane. It makes me sad that fewer teens than ever are engaging with the pleasures of the Winkelmesser. The Association of School and College Leaders has warned that funding pressures could mean that A-level French, German and music are cut from the syllabus altogether.” (more)

Why You Should Enroll Your Kids in Piano Lessons, According to Science

Time – Jamie Ducharme

“With 88 keys and hundreds of internal strings, a standard piano produces a slew of unique sounds and tones. And mastering that complex system doesn’t only result in beautiful music — a new study says it can also help kids build up their language skills. “There’s evidence that early exposure to piano practice enhances the processing of sounds that extend not only from music, but also into language,” says John Gabrieli, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the co-author of the paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” (more)

How music lessons can improve language skills

Medical X-Press – Staff Writing

“Many studies have shown that musical training can enhance language skills. However, it was unknown whether music lessons improve general cognitive ability, leading to better language proficiency, or if the effect of music is more specific to language processing. A new study from MIT has found that piano lessons have a very specific effect on kindergartners’ ability to distinguish different pitches, which translates into an improvement in discriminating between spoken words. However, the piano lessons did not appear to confer any benefit for overall cognitive ability, as measured by IQ, attention span, and working memory.” (more)

Making the Case for Music Education

Education World – Gary Hopkins

“What will it be — music or more software? In some communities, it all comes down to that question. New research, special programs, and dedicated teachers and community members are helping to make a solid case for putting music “Bach” into our schools! Once considered dispensable, music education is back on the agenda at school board meetings in many communities. Community and board members are taking a stand, fighting to reinstate music programs cut from school budgets over the last decade.” (more)