Thursday, November 29, 2007

Music for the Brain

Some people say that art and music are an impractical luxury for schools, given the hyper competitive demands of "globalization" that require a strong background in science and math.

Laying aside the wrong-headed workforce-training assumptions behind such an instrumentalist educational philosophy, another way of looking at it is: given the "new economic" reality -- where workers won't have long-term jobs or careers but multiple jobs and careers -- the advantage goes to those with nimble minds and creative intelligence; not the proficient test-takers our education factories are producing.

Improving the achievement gap? Raising test scores? Preventing kids from dropping out? We need more music education, not less. The math is simple.
clipped from

Scientists might not be sure exactly how it works, but musically and artistically inclined students are better readers and mathematicians.
let's consider the question: what does music have to do with improving education?

Going back to Plato and Aristotle, music has been considered one the "Four Pillars of Learning."

Plato said: "The decisive importance of education in poetry and music: rhythm and harmony sink deep into the recesses of the soul and take the strongest hold there. And when reason comes, he (the student) will greet her as a friend with whom his education has made him long familiar."

Aristotle said: "We become a certain quality in our characters on account of music."

Even Allan Bloom said: "Music is at the center of education, both for giving passions their due and for preparing the soul for the unhampered use of reason."

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