Letter of the Day: Music in schools
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 4:41 p.m.
Music in schools
EDITOR: I am writing regarding the Windsor Unified School District's impending decision to eliminate the music program, a bleak change that many of us in the community find appalling. Which one of us could imagine our lives without music? Music is a significant means of communication and an innate part of the human experience. Making music brings to life abstract ideas into concrete sound and soulful meaning.
Renowned Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner posits music is a primary human intelligence. We are hard-wired for music; however, its sophisticated vocabulary and the cultivation of performance skills require specialized training. Moreover, making music necessitates refined motor skill coordination and immeasurable cognitive processes. Recent neurological research has shown that active participation — and not passive listening — has a profound impact on whole-brain development, and that the neural plasticity of youths makes them especially receptive to its benefits through consistent musical nurturing during their developmental years.
In an age where young people are increasingly cloistered through technological media, the power of music to incite their emotional cores, excite their creativity and unite them in harmonious humanity makes music programs in our schools without question a core component in our children's education.
Director of Bands and Music Education, Sonoma State University
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