Around 50,000 years ago, African tribes would pray through song and dance. Once the Africans spread across the world, music became a European culture.
The first known song dates back to 4,000 years ago (before 500 AD). It was deciphered by Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer (University of Calif. Berkley).
Music education is the field of study associated with the teaching and learning of music. Teachers also touch up on topics such as music appreciation and sensitivity. Music education is common in most nations because it is considered an important component of human culture and behavior.
Music students are usually taught by professional teachers with years of experience and a college degree. Students can also use music books to learn how to read and play music. People also learn about music by listening to Music education CDs with ear training and music theory examples. Friends and family who have an understanding of music can also teach students different musical topics.
The first singing school was created in Boston, Massachusetts in 1717 by Reverend Thomas Symmes. The purpose of the school was for students to improve their singing and music reading in the church. Schools like these spread through the U.S. colonies The first music textbook of the colonies was created by Reverend John Tufts which was called &#x201C;An Introduction to the Signing of Psalm Tunes using Non-Traditional Notation.&#x201D; Between 1700 and 1820 more than 375 music books were published.
More schools have adding music programs to their curriculum. There are different types of music programs, including Concert Band, Choir, and Orchestra. There are more colleges with music programs. There are even colleges specified for music (Berklee, Julliard). There now are plenty of musical oppurtunities when going to a music school. You can study music performance, business, education, therapy, sound recording etc.
Music performance is the main field of study for musicians. You practice your instrumental technicality with warm-up pieces and play different arrangements the band director hands out. Once you have practiced your arrangements, you perform in concerts to show what you have learned.
Music theory is a field of study that justifies how music works. It identifies patterns and structures found in composers&#x2019; techniques within genres, styles, or historical periods. There are many different elements of music, some include: pitch, rhythm, melody, harmony, scales and modes.
The Music Industry sells compositions, recording, and performances of music. Some jobs of the music industry includes: music publishers, record label executives, managers, and Artist & Repertoire representatives. The four major record labels that dominate the music industry are Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and EMI. Who who have smaller labels within their company. Since the year 2000, recorded music sales have dropped substantially due to downloading.
The main purpose of a music producer is the manage the work of an artist&#x2019; music. Some other things that a producer does is coaching the musicians, controlling the recording sessions, gathering the ideas of the product, and supervising the final production through mixing and mastering. A music producer could be compared to a director in the film industry, as his job is the create a vision for the style of music they would like to create. Some famous producers today are Rick Rubin, T-Bone Burnett, Timbaland, Dr. Dre and Quincy Jones.
So, why are all these fields of music important in our society? Because without these different studies of music, we will not have developed music into what it is today. Due to the economic crisis in America, schools have began to drop their music programs. Without music programs, students will not be able to study the theory and performance of music in school. Students could lose interest in music and leave their dreams of because in the industry behind. This is why we have to do something in order to keep music alive.
Because of the national economic recession, many school cut their music programs completely. The No Child Left Behind Act made schools focus more on students becoming successful academically, and payed less attention to art programs. The state no longer chips in to help art programs, so parents have to pay for their child. Because of the recession, parents cannot afford for their child to attend music programs.
Music teachers instruct individuals on music performance, theory and appreciation. They can work full-time or part-time. They usually work at home, elementary or secondary schools, colleges, universities, or music conservatories.
Elementary or Secondary School teachers usually direct the school&#x2019;s choir, concert band, marching band, or orchestra. They teach students about the technical aspects of music, like music performance and theory. Private teachers usually give lessons to an individual or a group of people for a specific instrument. They also teach things like theory, performance, appreciation and other musical skills.
The No Child Left Behind Act is a law passed in 2001 by former President George W. Bush. The purpose is to improve a students academic performance. Its main focus is to improve students&#x2019; test scores and scoring abilities. The Act made school lose interest in their art programs and focus more on the students testing.
The No Child Left Behind Act focuses mainly on subjects like reading, writing and math. Parents are notified annually for a student&#x2019;s educational achievements. The Act requires schools to focus on every student, even the underprivileged. Like students with disabilities, low-income families, and non-English speakers.
Most states have been forced to make budget cuts on non-tested school subjects such as science, art and music, physical education and social studies. Teachers are pressured to teach more test-taking skills rather than a wide range of subjects. Higher standards have been set new teachers. They are required to have one or more specific college degrees and pass a number of proficiency tests. The problem with these standards is that it is harder to find a teacher qualified for certain subjects which makes the shortage of teachers worse than it already is.
About 62 percent of districts in the U.S. increased their time on English and/or math subjects. Since 2002, those districts have had an average increase of 46% for English, 37% for math, and a 42% increase for both subjects combined. Also, 44% of districts have reported of cutting time from other subjects such as science, art and music, physical education, lunch and recess. The average cut time for these subjects is about 30 minutes a day. The graph is showing what people think about No Child Left Behind Act and whether districts leaders need to play a larger role in the community or not.
Due to the economic recession, less government funding for school programs has been climbing higher each year. Now, parents have become more involved with the music programs. They have created organizations like the Music Boosters to provide support for student and teacher musical activities, equipment, and events. But, the problem is that some schools and parents cannot afford everything they need for their music programs, so schools drop it to save money.
Some problems concerning music teachers are that there is less funding for the arts. Music programs are being cut from the curriculum so schools can focus on core subjects like English and math. There is less job opportunities for new music teachers because schools don&#x2019;t have the money to hire them and give them a salary. Some music teachers are also losing their jobs because of the school&#x2019;s budget.
This teacher&#x2019;s main focus is about the problems concerning the TAAS test and how it effected the local students, parents, and teachers. She says how she tried to get parents to boycott the test, and how she&#x2019;s complained to the principal of her daughter&#x2019;s school. Her daughter got straight A&#x2019;s on her report card but failed the TAAS test. The next year she had to drop out of band and take two English classes. The Texas music teacher believes that students cannot just focus on academics and testing, they need other programs like art, music and physical education.
Two elementary school teachers created an after school club called &#x201C;Music Makers&#x201D;. The selected the eight lowest performing and eight highest performing first graders to participate. In this club, the teachers used music to teach/enhance reading and math skills. The students would play with toy instruments and sing to learn about different reading and math topics. At the end of the year, the students&#x2019; Reading scores were a grade level proficiency and they achieved a substantial level of academic growth. The teachers are trying to prove that music can be a good way for students to learn while having fun.
The purpose of this program is to provide sustainable music programs for children regardless of their financial situation. The foundation brings new instruments to elementary and middle schools. It also commits to funding music teachers&#x2019; salaries, providing maintenance, supplies, and scheduling.
The Save The Music Program was founded in 1997 as a public affairs initiative of the VH1 network. Former head of the network, John Syke&#x2019;s found inspiration when he was &#x201C;principal for a day&#x201D; at the Brooklyn school PS 58 - The Carroll School. He noticed the schools great need for musical instruments and decided to dig deeper into the struggles of music education. He decided to create an organization to help schools in need.
John Mayer is a Berklee College of Music Alumnus. He is signed to a major record label (Columbia Records). According to RollingStone Magazine, he was named as one of the greatest guitarists of the decade. He is now a successful singer/songwriter in today&#x2019;s music industry.
Quincy Jones is also a Berklee College of Music alumnus. He produced Michael Jackson&#x2019;s &#x201C;Thriller&#x201D; album and the famous charity song &#x201C;We Are The World&#x201D;. Throughout his career, he has been nominated for a Grammy 79 times and has won 27 Grammys. He is considered won of the greatest music producers in American history.
Music shows a sense of teamwork and creativity within the student. Music enhances the students&#x2019; critical thinking skills. Studies show that music students tend to have better reading and math grades than most. 74% of employers agree than creativity is an important factor in the U.S. workplace. Music brings happiness and joy the both performers and listeners.
So what can you do to help keep music programs in schools? You can become active in school and district planning committees. Donate anything (instruments, money, etc.) to your school to give them support. Get your children involved with music to show interest in the schools&#x2019; music programs. Talk with your local community to gather supporters to show the importance of music in schools.
M a t t P e n a
Music/Music Education History
Fields of music
No Child Left Behind Act
Importance of music
The origins of music
Music - an art of sound in time that expresses
ideas and emotions through elements of
rhythm, melody and harmony.
African tribes disperse across the world
The “oldest known song” - 4,000 years ago
Kilmer, Crocker, Brown, Sounds from Silence, 1976, Bit Enki, Berkeley, Calif
What is Music
Associated with teaching
and learning of music.
Touches on music
appreciation and sensitivity.
Important in human culture
Yudkin, J. (2008). Understanding Music (p. 4). Upper Saddle River,
Music Education Cont.
with experience and
CDs, friends, family.
History of Music
18th century in the U.S.
Reverend Thomas Symmes
Purpose: improve singing and music
reading in the church
Singing schools spread throughout
Music textbooks were created.
“An Introduction to the Singing of Psalm Tunes
Using Non-Traditional Notation”
More school programs.
Different types of programs (Concert Band, Choir,
More colleges are focusing on the music ﬁeld.
Music Schools (Berklee in Boston, Julliard in New York)
Main ﬁeld of study for
Practice instrument with
Play arrangements band
director hands out.
Show what you’ve
learned in concerts.
How music works.
Identiﬁes patterns and
structures found in
Fundamentals - pitch,
harmony, scales and
Stevens, Volkmann, and Newman 1937, 185; Josephs 1967, 53–54
Sells compositions, recordings, and
Music publishers, record label
executives, managers, A&R
Sony Music Entertainment,
Universal Music Group, Warner
Music Group, and EMI.
Recorded music sales dropped.
Job - manage the work of an artist’
Coaching the musicians, controlling
the recording sessions, gathering the
ideas of the product, and supervising
the ﬁnal production through mixing
Music producer is to ﬁlm director.
Famous producers: Rick Rubin, T-
Bone Burnett,Timbaland, Dr Dre and
National Economic Recession
No Child Left Behind Act
District level funding has diminished.
Parents cannot keep up ﬁnancially.
Instruct individuals on music
performance, theory and
Full-time or part-time.
Work at home, schools, or
Music Teachers cont.
School teachers - choir,
concert band, marching
Technical aspects of music
Private teachers - give
lessons, teach theory,
and other musical skills
No Child Left Behind
Passed by George W.
Purpose: to improve a
Main focus: testing
Less focus: art
Beveridge, Tina. “No Child Left Behind and Fine Arts Classes.” MasterFILE
Premier. Web. 2 Dec. 2009.
Focuses on reading,
writing and math.
Notiﬁes parents for
Requires schools to
focus on every student,
Cuts on non-tested
Too much test focus.
About 62% of districts
increased english/math time.
Since 2002, 46% English
increase, 37% math increase,
42% combined increase.
44% of districts cut time
from other subjects.
Average cut time - 30 min a
Parents are in charge
Families pay more
Schools and parents
Music programs being
Less job opportunities.
Teachers losing jobs.
“Being from Texas and George Bush who created this TAAS test debacle 6 years ago, we have
had this problem for awhile now. The parents hate it and have tried to get people to actually
boycott the test since so much emphasis is put on it, but to no avail. I actually complained to the
superintendent of schools after I got nowhere with the principal at my daughter's school. She
had made straight A's on her report card all year and then failed the TAAS reading test. They
were going to make her drop out of band the following year so she could take 2 classes of
English!!! It also required her to take summer school starting the following week of the letter we
received, and re-take the test, regardless of any summer vacations that might have been
planned!! Unbelievable!! I tried so hard to get them to realize that we are not all Einsteins in this
world and thank God there were Beethoven's and Chopin's! But, it was pointless because the
school's only way to be recognized was by these stupid tests. So consequently, all teachers do
now is teach kids the tricks of taking these tests. Forget any real teaching!
Even in the school I'm teaching, students get tutored during my music class!!!! And then on top
of it, students who voluntarily were taking tutoring after school suggested by some teachers,
were not allowed to take my after school choir classes! So I offered a before school choir for
those poor students! I told the principal that these students need an outlet from academics!!!
Don't take everything away from them!”
“A first grade teacher and I began an after-school club called, Music Makers. We selected the
eight lowest performing and eight highest performing first graders to participate. Their selection
was based solely on Reading Assessment scores in September. I basically used music to
teach/enhance reading and math skills. The first grade teacher helped me to identify first grade
standards in reading and math that should be taught. I have written about this club to the list
before. We used the charts and songs called,"Growing With Mathematics." They are published
by the Wright Group and go along with their math series. Each song was about a math skill, but
we also read them and used them as reading lessons. These students played the songs on the
piano, boomwhackers, bells, and Big Foot Keyboard. They read and sang the songs many
different ways. I made PowerPoints for each song and used pictures of the children to illustrate
them. It was a big success. You would not believe their Reading scores at the end of the year.
The slower students all reached grade level proficiency except for two. One has now been
identified as SPED and the other missed it by one level. Their growth was still astounding. The
Reading Assessment tool that my school system uses says that a child must be at level 16 by
the end of first grade. The high achieving students excelled as well. They all exceeded 16 by
several levels, one as high as 40. I know that our after-school club was not the sole reason for
their academic growth. But...I like to think we had a part in it.”
Save The Music Program
Funding for music
Founded in 1997
John Syke’s inspiration
PS 58 - The Carroll
Need for musical
Importance of music
Teamwork and creativity
Better chance of getting a
What you can do!
Become active in committees.
Get more students to participate
Music and other art programs are important
in school because students become
academically successful with a wider variety
of knowledge. Schools should not rely on core
subjects and testing to make a child ready for
life once they are out of school.