August 31, 2015

Music is Vital! by Miss Margie Looney

Music is Vital!

Music. Many people hear that word and think of jamming in their car, singing in the shower, or how they used to play an instrument back when they walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways. Some people think of attending a rock concert, a professional symphony, or those oh-so-catchy commercial songs that seem to never leave your head just as your head hits the pillow. Music encompasses so much of our everyday lives without us probably even realizing it. Music is vital; it provides us with a better brain, better enjoyment, and consequently a better, more enriched life. You’ve probably heard that music makes you smarter, but does it really? The College Entrance Examination Board conducted research regarding this topic and discovered that students who were enrolled in Fine Arts courses performed significantly higher on the SAT than students who were not enrolled in such courses.

In addition, playing a musical instrument gives a student’s brain a workout…literally. Check out this TedEd video by Anita Collins:

Music’s impact is blind to age. According to alzfdn.org (Alzheimer’s Foundation of America), “Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease. When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.” That’s pretty amazing!

In addition to the awesome brain boosts that music gives, it also provides individuals with heightened expression, greater creativity, and bonding. Have you ever turned on that one “touching” song and had soft tears rolling down your cheeks? Have you ever made up some crazy dance moves to your favorite disco-fever tune? And remember that one song from high school that you and your friends would always jam to? Good memories – good times, right! Music really adds enjoyment to our lives (unless it is the never-ending “This Is the Song That Never Ends”).

Besides giving our brain power and heightened enjoyment, music gives our students and us a better life. With a musical education, students develop life-long skills such as discipline, teamwork, and responsibility that are applicable to being a good employee and community member. Professional musicians create music we enjoy and that music can help carry us through hard things. Without music, life would be a mistake. May you help others have a better brain, enjoyment, and life through advocacy of the gift of music.

Margie Looney
National Rural Teacher of the Year Finalist
Arizona Rural Schools Association Teacher of the Year
Arizona Education Foundation Ambassador for Excellence

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