Ewing, Music and Education


I selected “Music and Education” for my topic because music is such an influence in my life. I started each day of preschool, kindergarten, and second grade with a song and since then music has played an essential role in my life. Music taught me creativity, discipline, and developed my self-esteem. My love of music has grown since my early elementary years and artist such as Edith Piaf, Andrew Bird, Yo-Yo Ma, Kings of Convenience, Emiliana Torrina and many other musicians have become my creative inspirations.
Music has the incredible ability to transport me away from reality and work through my thoughts. For a while I lost music. After seven years of playing the viola I gave it up freshman year of high school. However, music has found its way back to me. When I returned from Bozeman, Montana I rekindled my love for the viola and now use it as a form of meditation, an escape from school, and as a creative outlet.I think music is an essential part of education.url.jpegviola-2.jpegimages.jpegurl-3.jpegurl-5.jpegimgres.jpeg
The Top 5 Things I Learned:

1. Music helps students develop self-esteem: This sense of self integrates into everyday life and helps individuals and communities a like:
  • Work toward perfection and excellence
  • Create a sense of community (both in a family and national setting)
  • Foster ethical and aesthetical values
  • Builds a sense of pride and accomplishment
  • Has many socioeconomic benefits
  • Fosters parent’s belief and support in their children. Parents are more likely to help their children peruse their musical and other life goals.
Once a member of the orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and the LA Philharmonic

2.Music’s many applications: Because music is a common language it can reach many audiences and help students overcome a wide range of academic, emotional, and psychological problems. Robert Gupta’s video demonstrates music’s positive effects on a person diagnosed with schizophrenia. Music is a common language between the two and it allows his student to communicate and work through his inner emotions.
Nathaniel Ayers, a Juilliard trained musician, uses music as a form of treatment

For more about
Nathaniel Ayers visit:

3.Music’s effect on the brain:Music has its unique place in education because it can stimulate parts of the brain not reached by math, science, reading, and other traditional subjects.The act of creating, imitating, and analyzing creates neurological connections that help students in other areas of academia. Music is often used to treat brain damage and retrieve lost memories. It teaches students from a young age imitation, which according to Richard Gill, it is the most powerful way of teaching and learning. This is because music:
  • Engages students in listening and focus
  • Is abstract (it doesn’t mean anything outside itself) therefore, music evokes a different response, suggest, implies, and opens up the mind of a child
  • Moves children into a special world of thinking
  • Fosters creativity

4.Academic Benefits of Music: Students who study music do better in math, reading, and critical thinking. Music students score higher on standardized test such as the SAT and are more likely to graduate high school. This is because music teaches students discipline and offers alternatives to joining and participating in gang activity.

5.Music and Group Work: Music teaches students how to be literate and analyze all while learning to work together in a group. According to Ken Robbins, “Most great learning happens in groups”. Music is the textbook example for creative collaboration because it allows students to combine and blend their own musical style with others. Music allows individualism, which is something disappearing in the modern school system, and couples it with group collaboration. These skills can be used in the professional world. Music prepares students for the “Now”.
The Smiths an example of creative collaboration


In this video Richard Gill talks about the importance of the value of music in education. Gill explains what happens when students, young students in particular, are introduced to music. He uses rhythmic patterns within this video to demonstrate that, “imitation is the most powerful way of teaching”. Goes on to say that music is abstract and it allows children to create unique responses, suggest, imply, and open up their mind. I would give this video a 5 out of 5 because it is very informative, engaging, and covers a large amount of material in a short period of time.

Video 2
This video explains music’s effect on the brain. This shows the connection between music and an increased level of brain activity. This video receives a 3 out of 5 because it only talks about the emotional effects music has on the brain. This video would receive a 5 out of 5 if it covered the cognitive effects music has on the brain.

In this TEDTalk Venezuelan youth orchestra conductor Jose Antonio Abreu talks about the 300,000 students in the program and the importance of music his students lives and the community. Abreu says “In this essence, the orchestra and the choir are much more then artistic structures: They are examples and schools of social life, because to sing and play together means to intimately coexist toward perfection and excellence, following a strict discipline of organization and coordination in order to seek the sermonic interdependence of voice and instrument. That’s how they build a society, develop their self-esteem and foster the ethical and aesthetical values related to the music in all its sense. This is why music is immensely important in awakening of sensibility in the forging of values”. This video was moving and inspiring. I would give it a 5 out of 5 except it is in Spanish with English subtitles. However, it is definitely worth your time. It is an excellent counterargument to cutting music in schools.

Video 4
This video talks about the therapeutic properties of music. It deals with a schizophrenic, who is a master musician, and how it helped him work through his rage and other issues. Speaker Robert Gupta says, “This is the very reason why make music: we take something that exist within all of us at the very fundamental core, our emotions, and through our artistic lens, through our creativity, we’re able to shape those emotions into reality”. This video shows that music can be beneficial to all types of students because it is a common language. I give this video a 5 out of 5 because it is articulate, has a wonderful story, and contains the Bach cello suite.

Video 5
This video talks about the reading, math, and critical thinking benefits of music education. It makes a good case for keeping music programs part of the curriculum. This video receives a 4 out of 5 because it is very informative about the academic benefits of music but a little dry. Students talk about their personal experience with music which makes the clip very genuine and expresses music importance in their lives.

This video combines the cello with Michael Jackson. Therefore, it automatically receives a 5 out of 5. Music and creativity have taken these two cellists very far. The duo has inspired many young people to pick up instruments and they continue to gain popularity around the globe. If you have a few extra minuets watch this video. You will be blown away.

"Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school"

-Lewis Thomas, Case for Music in the Schools, Phi Delta Kappa, 1994

"Martin Gardiner of Brown University tracked the criminal records of Rhode Island residents from birth through age 30, and he concluded the more a resident was involved in music, the lower the person's arrest record.Music Linked to Reduced Criminality"
-MUSICA Research Notes, Winter 2000

"The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades"

-1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test
"This was the very reason why we made music: We take something that exist within all of us at the very fundamental core, our emotions, and through our artistic lens, through our creativity, we're able to shape those emotions into reality"
-Robert Gupta