NOTRE DAME MUSIC
The Pursuit of Excellence in Music Education
♪ MUSIC EDUCATION ♪
• The arts provide young people with authentic learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts, and bodies. Engagement in the arts nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies.
• While learning in other disciplines may often focus on development of a single skill or talent, the arts regularly engage multiple skills and abilities. Music requires the integration of eye-hand coordination, rhythm, tonality, symbol recognition and interpretation, attention span, and other factors that represent synthetic aspects of human intelligence. In addition, critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning how to work cooperatively toward shared goals are all skills which are reinforced through music education.
• Music is one of the eight intelligences identified in the brain and the only one that utilizes all eight intelligences simultaneously. Thus, students who participate in music courses exercise more of their brain than in any other course they take in school.
• Band reinforces the skills of cooperation which are among the qualities now most highly valued in business and industry, especially in high-tech contexts. Members are required to shift from an I/Me focus to a We/Us focus. Instead of the logic being, “what’s in it for me,” it becomes, “what’s in it for us?” Band is a group effort which focuses on group goals and the completion of those goals in each and every rehearsal and performance.
• “The musician is continually making decisions on tempo, tone, intonation, style, rhythm, balance, phrasing, and feeling–training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.” – Ratey John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain.
• Researchers in Leipzig found that brain scans of musicians showed larger planum temporale (a brain region related to some reading skills) than those of non-musicians. They also found that the musicians had a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two halves of the brain) than those of non-musicians. – Schlaug, G., Jancke, L., Huang, Y.
• The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. – Grant Venerable
• It is well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development… one year of Visual and Performing Arts is recommended for college-bound high school students. – U.S. Department of Education
• Researchers at the University of Montreal used various brain imaging techniques to investigate brain activity during musical tasks and found that sight-reading musical scores and playing music both activate regions in all four of the cortex’s lobes; and that parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks. – Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B.
• 66% of music majors who apply to medical school are admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors are admitted. – As reported in “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappa
• Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 2002, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. – The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2000, 2001, and 2002.
• Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades. – National Center for Education Statistics
• A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. – Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright
• At perhaps no other time have music and arts education been more important. Apart from their obvious benefits, music and the other arts produce critical thinkers, people who are decision makers. In the information age, our company needs people with these critical thinking skills. – Susan Driggers, Bell South Corporation
• “Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” – Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America