I love to listen to all kinds of music. Previously I wrote a blog on "The Top Ten Reasons Why The Symphony Is Cool."
Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak with Gail Suderman, Artistic Director, Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. Ms.Suderman shared with me the top ten reasons why we need music education.
On Monday, May 4, millions of school students across the country joined together in a performance to celebrate, "the galvanizing power of music in Canada and demonstrate how that power is rooted in school music programs" for Music Monday (musicmonday.ca). The annual event serves as an important reminder to us all that music is one of the most, if not the most, essential and prevailing cultural influences in our world.
Where would we be without music?
It's hard to imagine and yet there are decision makers pointing us away from offering young people the opportunity to discover music as a discipline. Every year there are proposals to cut out music education, taking away the chance for young people to learn about and perform music through valuable band, choir and strings programs.
How can the performance and creation of music continue thriving without our encouragement of the next generation of composers and musicians early in their lives?
We need music education because we need music, and we need music for countless reasons, but here are 10 main ones that stand out to me.
1. We need music to celebrate.
Without music, it wouldn't be the same celebrating at sporting events, for example, the World Cup or Olympics, special occasions, like weddings and birthdays public holidays, would be lacking in joy, and for public holidays like Christmas and New Year's, it would be hard to raise spirits.
2. We need music to play.
Music is an essential part of how many of us enjoy leisure time, for example, on vacation at the beach, in transit as we travel from one destination to the next, when we sit down to appreciate a fantastic meal at a restaurant, or when we hit the dance floor.
3. We need music to entertain us.
It's why so many of us are drawn to shows centered around performing music such as "The Voice," "American Idol," "Britain's Got Talent." We love the excitement of watching up and coming singers and musicians go on to become the entertainers we pay to see in concert.
4. We need music to perform better.
Listening to music activates and engages multiple areas of the brain, and has been shown to improve memory and other cognitive functions. Further, there is a direct link between improved concentration and problem solving by those who perform an instrument, and the impact is only evident in those who perform music -- no other art form produces the same results.
5. We need music when we grieve.
How do we grieve in response to a tragedy? We bring music into the healing process, helping us express our sorrow, and come together to support one another. Music takes us beyond our at times inadequate words and allows us to express the depth of our pain.
6.We need music when we're happy.
One of the first things many of us do when we're in good mood is switch on a favourite tune to share our happy feelings with those around us, and appreciate the moment, some times with a little dance.
7. We need music to help us appreciate diversity and share our common humanity.
When we are challenged to understand and accept our differences and see what we have in common with others, music can bridge that gap. Shared voices, shared rhythms, shared expressions of joy - music brings us together and allows us to see the best of and in each other.
8. We need music to educate us.
Without music education, we cannot develop the skills to express our artistic and musical selves. We must not fail to provide young people the means to develop their professional abilities.
9. We need music to support and maintain a valued art form.
Symphonies, jazz festivals, Musical Theatre, choral music, opera, folk festivals - we must continue to value the expression of all kinds of music through the many forms and styles. We can continue to enrich our existence through the support and training of future musicians of all kinds.
10. We need music for music's sake.
As an initiative to support the cause of music education in our community, Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir launched the 'Good Noise VIP Young Artist Program (Voices In Performance)' at RISE UP SINGING! A Youth Choir Extravaganza, on May 30th.
The program will provide opportunities for young singers to develop their talents, take part in choral workshops and performances and access financial support in pursuit of their career through post-secondary scholarships.
I love how music can enrich our lives. Please let me know how music enhances your life, I would love to hear from you.
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to live life to the fullest. Let's have the very best 2015!
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