Welcome to Art's Articles for the Month of:
Happy New Year!

I hope that you had a pleasant holiday season.  Christmas here was great, and we are looking forward to the changes the new year will bring. 

This is a time for resolutions, and I am using this article to tell you of some of the resolutions that I am making this year.

First, I am going to reinvigorate my personal music participation.  I am going to increase the time that I spend with my instrument.  I am going to practice more and better.  I am going to use my music to enrich the lives of myself, my family and my associates. 

Second, I am going to become a stronger advocate for music education for our kids.  Time and again it has been proven that music is beneficial for individuals, for groups and for society.  And yet, when it comes to making budget cuts in our schools, music is one of the first things to go.  I am going to speak up at meetings and in personal conversations.  I am going to get involved in groups that promote arts education.

Points for me to keep in mind include:

On SAT tests, the national average scores were 427 on the verbal and 476 on math.  At the same time, music students averaged 38 points higher the verbal and 21 points higher on the math sections.

The American Music Conference reports that music-makers are 52% more likely to go on to college and other higher education than non-music music makers.

The AMC also reports that music-makers watch less television and are more optimistic about their futures than non-music makers.

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a 1991 report in which they urge schools to teach for the future workplace.  The skills they recommend (working in teams, communication, self-esteem, creative thinking, imagination, and invention) are exactly those learned in school music and arts programs.

The following results are from a 1997 Gallup Survey:

69% believe school music participation corresponds to better grades and test scores.
85% believe communities should provide financial resources to support these programs.
70% of respondents in the Gallup Survey think music education should be mandated by states.

Read the following quotes and see if you don't agree that we need to work to keep music in the schools.

"Have you ever wondered why young people take to music like fish to water?  maybe it's because music is fun.  Plan and simple.  It opens up their minds to dream great dreams about where they can go and what they can do when they get older."   Isaac Hayes, composer/arranger/performer

"The Japanese consider the study of music important for their engineers.  Playing a musical instrument involves discipline, creativity and conceptualization.  These attributes, added to engineering talent, help produce results that are not only functional but also harmonious in every way.  Music reaches across cultures and needs no translation."  Shirley Young, VP, Consumer Market Development for General Motors

"Study after study has proven that music education dramatically increases early brain development and improves students' overall academic performance.  But music does so much more!  It makes your mood more pleasant, your child a happier person, the car ride more fun and enjoyable, and your life more fulfilling."  Lynn Kleiner, author of "
Kids Make Music!  Twos and Threes for Parents and Their Children"

"Our schools tend to refine intellects but neglect to discipline emotions.  For anyone to grow up complete, music is imperative."  Paul Harvey, broadcaster and commentator

"The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage, and pride in results.  Not a bad preparation for the work force!"  Gregory Anrig, President, Educational Testing Service

"Almost all children respond to music.  Music is an open-sesame, and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach into that child's potential for development." Dr. Clive Robbins, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Clinic

"Music helps all types of people to remain forever young.  Simply put, music can heal people."  Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada)

"Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence of it in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. It would not leave them narrow minded and bigoted."  Henry David Thoreau