I recently heard that NASD saved music and arts education with the recent budget consideration. Glad to hear that someone gets it. Our school systems are shooting themselves in the foot by cutting music programs and then wondering why their students' math and science scores are declining. I have blogged about this before, but our children are growing up without the foundations to understand math because they are growing up without music.
I found a link to the study that shows a connection between math and music. Music has been shown to do many things; sooth the savage beast, help bring back memories, and more. It has also been shown to make you smarter. We are not talking about any kind of music. Today’s pop, while it gets the body moving or begins hearing loss does not have the correct transitions between sound and silence. During the study mentioned in the article above they chose eight symphonies. The composer of those symphonies, while not well known, has a familiar style and contains well-defined transitions which were able to show seen in fMRI scans.
My nephew was a test subject in a study on premature infants. A similar study shows that infants who listened to Mozart gained weight faster -- and therefore become stronger -- than those who don't. Since my brother and his wife are both musicians, it made sense for their son to participate in this study when he was born very premature. I didn’t hear about the outcome of the exact study he participated in, but I do know that my nephew is a smart, strong boy even though he is a little short for his age. I supposed since both of his parents are musicians the music education continues to this day and I do know that he is very good at math and science.
So when you hear that your local school is cutting music programs you should fight. Music is not just a nice thing to have, it is an essential discipline to learn. For those of you who are in the NASD, fortunately you don't have to worry about it this time around. It appears this current board gets it.