This month is all about music in schools.
Music is one of the most fundamental healing and educational forces for good in the world.
With music we learn the ABCs, memorize the preamble to the Constitution, celebrate historic milestones and cultural achievements, and perhaps most importantly these days, release pent up feelings of anger, frustration, loneliness and sadness.
As healing as it is to express and release painful feelings it is equally beneficial to make joyful noises in music education.
Young people can use rhythm and singing training in homeschool with tools easily available in any home or classroom – real or virtual.
Studies have shown that singing in a group of people releases feel good chemicals into our bodies such as endorphins and dopamine - like a runner’s high, but standing still singing along with a group.
Piano lessons beginning at around 5 years old is also shown in studies to be an excellent way of increasing the spatial temporal IQ children by as much as 43% over a six month test period.
Piano lessons especially help young people to coordinate their brains between what they see and hear with their senses and what exists in reality, shown to encourage synaptic fusion.
The music notes on the page, the specific vibrational frequency triggered by their self-initiated action of pressing a certain key, along with the coordination among eyes, reading the music, fingers, playing the correct notes at the correct time, and ear, experiencing the vibrations created, has a formative and cohesive effect on the body as a whole.
When synaptic fusion is encouraged in the brain, it creates a permanent connection of communication between vital areas of the organ, allowing faster and more immediate functioning.
In adolescence, those parts of the brain that are not established in use are sloughed off and essentially lost – proving the truth of the old “use it or lose it” saying.
Of course modern studies are proving that with persistent training, synaptic connections can be established and restored, whereas science once thought that impossible.
This is good news for old dogs who still want to learn new tricks.
Neural plasticity is a fascinating area of study for both psychologists and educators alike, and creates a fertile common ground of study for future research on creativity.
My own Songlife in-schools program has seen thousands of students in k-12 and hundreds of adult learners, and our research shows the importance of applied discipline and the lasting impact of a musical event to create a catalyst moment in the lives of students. Adolescents often need a boost to muster the will power to pursue excellence in education, and this requires that they be first stirred to reason by the power of their self initiated desire to learn.
This is the key.
Music educators and teachers who incorporate music into other subjects such as Language Arts, Mathematics, History, Science, Technology and Character Education, are heroes all around the world, serving a valuable connection between what is and what can be.
Do you have a favorite music educator to celebrate this month?
We’d love to connect in the comments and learn more about music education where you live.
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Spotlight on Music Educators in Tennessee:
Becky Ponder –
Becky Ponder started a guitar class at Meigs County Middle School with a handful of students in the school's library. Her class now has over 100 students learning guitar in her library.
Becky is a career educator who goes above and beyond to incorporate music education into her students' curriculum. She also maintains the school's website.
If you think she looks familiar, you may have seen her playing bass on tour with hit songwriters Richard Leigh and Chris Hennessee.
Justin Karpinos –
Celebrating educator Justin Karpinos, Language Arts teacher at University School of Nashville who regularly incorporates music into his lessons.
Thanks to Justin for inviting us to present the Songlife workshop for his Words and Music Enrichment class in early 2020 at my alma mater, USN.
National Music Council Thanks Music Educators Around The Country -