Why Music and the Arts?

In this time of statewide budget deficit and curriculum driven by test scores, one may ask “Why is music part of the school day?” The newly adopted federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act places the arts at the core of the curriculum for intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. “I think music and arts education should be considered a core subject.” Current U.S. Secretary of Education - Rod Paige Our students need to be able to read, write, and balance their checkbook. They also need to have the tools to express themselves in a healthy way. We can all agree that quality of life in part is determined by our ability interact with others, and share feelings in a healthy manner. One could take this reasoning one step further stating that what makes us human is in part our ability to create, invent, and discover. In the land of 3M and other research and development hotbeds, creative self expression is critical to the continuation of our society.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
--Albert Einstein

Extrinsic associations point to research that indicate the following benefits to music education: improvement in reading and math skills/scores, boost in individual spatial reasoning IQ, and dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science http://www.menc.org/information/advocate/facts.html

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” --Victor Hugo

“In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain.”
--George Szell

Our OHA music curriculum is guided by a set of national standards that focus on skill & knowledge development as well as individual music making, all of which point to achieving the above stated goals.

The National Standards for Music Education include nine content areas:

#1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

#2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

#3: Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments

#4: Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines

#5: Reading and notating music

#6: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music

#7: Evaluating music and music performances

#8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts

#9: Understanding music in relation to history and culture

As we continue to develop the music curriculum throughout our school district, core beliefs will include: providing a high quality music education for every child, curriculum driven by the National Standards, and that No Child Should Be Left Without Music!