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Music In the Schools is NOT Dead

Updated on August 21, 2014
Really? Marching band is good for me?
Really? Marching band is good for me? | Source

Choir and Band Participation

When students participate in choir and band not only are they learning notes on a page and how to harmonize with the singer next to them they learn how to cooperate in groups, wait their turn and have higher cognitive learning skills.

This I have witnessed first hand by watching my kids participate in our local schools' music program. Elmwood-Murdock high school is a small rural Nebraska educational district and the entire high school consists of approximately 125 students.

The band normally has over 65 students in the marching band, which carries over to concert band in the winter. Mrs. Colbert, the director of the choir, had to initiate try outs because choir was so cool everyone wanted to join.

District Music Contests

Music Poll

Did you play an instrument in school?

See results

Benefits of Music in Our Schools

Your child may never be the next Beyonce or Katy Perry, but that doesn't mean that music classes in school are a waste of time. Research has shown that exposure to music at a young age helps develop the brain and can even raise a childs IQ.

According to the National Association of Music (NAMM) music stimulates small muscle skills, and is essential in language development and brain development. Young children in elementary school who are involved in musical activities have improved test scores later in life. A study done at the University of Kansas showed a 20 percent increase in math score and a 22 percent improvement in English.

This result crossed all socioeconomic classes and low income groups.

In our local Elmwood-Murdock K-12 district where over 80% of the students participate in music our national and state test scores are not only above average but rank the highest in the state.

Music is a Lifelong Experience


Music Gifts

Importance of Music in Our Schools

Your child may never be the next Beyonce, or Katy Perry, and the only singing they might do as an adult is in the shower or at a karaoke bar, but don't ever think that music classes in school are a waste of time.

According to a recent PBS article early music education strengthens listening skills which will benefit them later in their school career as they progress into more serious and formal learning opportunities.

Brain Works Harder

The earlier children are exposed to music and music lessons, such as piano the more of an opportunity for brain growth and an increase in IQ, that's right, music makes the brain work harder and thus helps a person process information more efficiently.

Improved Test Scores

A study by the University of Kansas showed schools with strong elementary music programs had students that tested 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math. These students crossed all social demographic groups and the study showed improvements in focus and concentration.

Lessons Learned in Marching Band

Music Poll

Did You Play in the Marching Band?

See results

Benefits of Marching Band

I was in marching band in high school and all my kids were all in marching band. I was "the" band parent. I went to all the parades, video taped their performances and know first hand the lessons marching band teaches kids.

Aside from the neurological multi-tasking function of marching in step, playing an instrument, and listening to one another marching band has the following benefits.

Marching band teaches kids:

  • Time management: You HAVE to wake up early (to get on the bus early for parades)
  • Organization: check list of music, shoes, instrument, lunch, money
  • Friendship: it's a club where everyone belongs
  • Patience: standing in a holding area for two hours before the band can be grueling
  • Coordination: kids with two left feet soon learn which one is their real left foot, "Left, left, left right, left"

For my sons marching band gave them an advantage when they joined the Marine Corps. Boot camp was a little bit easier since they already knew how to march.

Hard Work Leads to Success

It's no secret that hard work leads to success and music students know this more than anyone. Practice, practice, practice, it's the mantra of any musician.

Hard work is the key to success and this is just one of the lessons learned by incorporating music into a child's life. Nothing in life comes easy, but work can be enjoyable when you're striving towards a goal.

Music students learn to practice for an audition to earn high scores at district music contest. Marching bands spend hours on football fields and getting up early for those early morning marches in the school parking lots. The reward a cheering crowd, a superior ranking, or even a scholarship for college.

These lessons carry on through to adult life. Success in business takes hard work, patience, and perseverance.

There are No Shortcuts on the Road to Success

Guitar Desk Decoration - Love Guitar Decoration for Desktop - Vintage Music Display Themed Gift - Guitarist Gift for All Occasions
Guitar Desk Decoration - Love Guitar Decoration for Desktop - Vintage Music Display Themed Gift - Guitarist Gift for All Occasions
People who play an instrument as a hobby are easy to shop for at Christmas and birthdays. If they love the guitar there are guitar gifts, Christmas ornaments and accessories which make shopping easy.

Music Lasts a Lifetime

Music surrounds our life, from the Top 40 hits on the radio to the background music playing in stores. Music triggers memories, makes us feel good, and affects our moods. I took piano lessons starting at age eight and continued through high school. Sometimes I hated them, sometimes I loved them, but my Mom didn't let me give up.

I've not glad she made me stick with it. More than thirty years later I play the piano at church during the Advent and Lenten seasons. It has become my therapy, my release and a way I relax.

Music plays an important role in our lives and affects us mentally, spiritually, and socially. Music crosses all demographic and economic barriers and may be the path to a journey you never expected.

Because of the music experiences offered in our small school my son had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall, and two of them marched in the Memorial Day parade in Washington DC.

I am so thankful for all the opportunities music has given my kids and their experiences will last them a lifetime. Hopefully the tradition of music will carry on for many generations.

Music Creates Friendships

Bonding during band field trips creates lifelong friendships
Bonding during band field trips creates lifelong friendships | Source

What is Your Experience with Music During Your Childhood?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      After years of procrastination a sheer desire finally won out as I decided to buy a quality guitar at age 48, drive directly to a local music store who offered lessons, signed up and followed thru w/ formal lessons for about a year. It was the lessons that got me over the hump in the learning curve, and instilled routine practice & challenges. I will always be a student of the instrument, and sometimes have to fight for every note, but in the end, well worth it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      I am a musician and teacher in a household of the same--we all work hard to keep music alive in our schools--great hub!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      We had a school orchestra, choir and group lessons, including guitar and violin - but no marching band. It certainly looks fun.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      7 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      One of the great experiences of my school days was being in the band. I'm certainly a different person from who I would have been without that experience. I'm glad that children today won't be deprived of that opportunity.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I was in the band and look how I turned out to be. LOL

      Seriously, music is important to keep in schools. Many students have shown that it improves with their other classes.

    • alison monroe profile image

      Alison Monroe 

      7 years ago

      Love that first picture!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 years ago from North Central Florida

      This is so true. I taught school for 40+ years and music was a part of each day even when kids did not go to a special music class For some kids music, singing, dancing, and playing an instrument was the highlight of their day.

      Two years ago the school system I worked in took art and music almost totally only had music and art once every other was the worst. They have just voted this year to reinstate it full time and we are all thrilled.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • BloNo Mom profile image


      7 years ago from Central Illinois, USA

      What a great hub! I have 2 daughters in band and I'm so impressed with the band programs in both our Jr High and High schools. These kids really work hard, and it pains me when "the budget cuts" hit the band room.

      Thanks for sharing, and raising awareness of the importance of band!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      7 years ago from Nebraska

      Thanks Susan, your support is greatly appreciated. I am so proud of our schools music program, have the best band and choir teachers.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Loved your hub and hit all the buttons. Music is so important in all our lives. Sharing and pinning. So nice to see you here at HubPages.


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