The following transcript is an interview with a local high school educator:
- How important is music in the lives of your students?
Music is VERY important to the larger majority of my students. Most of my students stay in music all four years of high school. Many of them play in ensembles outside of the school day, such as Mexican “Banda” and other folk music. I serve a large population of minority students. Many of them play more than one instrument. They value the training they receive in my classes. Several students take multiple music classes.
- Do you believe music education has the potential to increase college attendance?
- If yes, how so? If no, why not?
Not only do I believe that, but there are several studies available that prove that music education helps to prepare students for success in college. Some of these studies are available at NAfme on the web site. (National Association for Music Education, formerly known as MENC. Music study helps to increase SAT Exam scores. Music study increases brain development and cognitive function. Music classes tend to attract students that are more interested in attending college. I believe this is due to the discipline required to learn music.
- How do you think music education could be implemented into courses to complement subject matter?
I think music could be implemented into all courses if the teacher is inclined to do so. Teachers can play classical music quietly while students are working independently, as well as during collaborative time. Science classes k-12 can build simple musical instruments. Math classes can study the ‘mathematical’ components of music. History classes can teach social awareness of a society through learning about the music during that time period. The list is endless.
- Are there any techniques you have tried and were successful?
Since I teach music all day, I try to incorporate other subjects such as history, science and math. Also, I teach my students the benefits of music education so they are aware that their chances of attending and succeeding at a four year university increase with music study.