Group brings music/arts education to the classroom |

Group brings music/arts education to the classroom

How important is music and arts education to children? Considerable research says “very.”

It seems that children who are exposed to music at an early age do better in school, score higher on standardized tests, and even tend to stay out of trouble more often.

For example, according to the 2001 SAT test data, students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on the SAT verbal test and 44 points higher on the math than students with no music participation. New York University’s National Arts Education Research Center reported students who participated in arts programs in selected elementary and middle schools in New York City showed significant increases in self-esteem and thinking skills. And the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse reported that secondary students who participated in band or orchestra activities reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances, including alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs (Houston Chronicle, January 1998).

Thus, when a group from Nevada County Community Leadership Institute were casting around for a worthy project, they teamed up with Music in the Mountains to bring more arts education to local classrooms.

According to team member Mary Anne Davis, the goal is to add to what Music in the Mountains has already started: Providing Brummitt-Taylor kits, which contain compact discs of classical music selections and a teacher’s guide for discussions, to classrooms – at $250 each. While that may sound expensive, it provides enough music and lesson plans to last five years without repetition.

“One piece of music is played all week (about five minutes a day),” says Davis, “both to gain repetition for the children to learn and remember the music and to give the teacher the ability to have the children do something different every day,” like violins one day and tempo changes the next. Some teachers even tie in an art project.

So far, 100 classrooms have the kit, and Davis’ group hopes to purchase 20 more. Thus, fund-raising is afoot to raise the required $5,000.

Donations can be sent to Music in the Mountains, P.O. Box 1451, Nevada City, CA 95959, made out to “Music in the Mountains – B-T Program.”

Call 265-6173 for more information.

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