Why Take Band?

logoWe know that band students represent the top of the academic scale in our schools. We know they are averaging 62 points higher on SAT tests, which would indicate they are stronger in verbal and math scores than other members of the student body. We also know band students are the ones who enjoy a successful high school career, go on to college, and become the leaders in our society. There is a definite link between the top achiever academically and the band student. They are one and the same.

In many respects, band is a microcosm of our society. It demands high levels of responsibility, social skills, ongoing communication, analytical talents, and the important ability to work with others. Simply put, learning a musical instrument and continuing to explore the limitless possibilities of music provide an excellent preparation for life.

In The Arts: An Essential Ingredient in Education, J. Buchen Milley states that “research shows that when arts are included in the student’s curriculum, reading, writing and math scores improve.” Like all arts, music has a profound effect on the academic success of the student.

Band is a group effort. Members are required to shift from an I/Me reasoning to a We/Us concept. This means extending oneself beyond the normal considerations of much of our day-to-day living. Instead of the logic being, what’s in it for me, it becomes, what’s in it for us? The values of cooperation, communication, concentration, correlation, and completion come into play each rehearsal and performance.

Band builds positive self-worth. Although we share many similarities with our athletic counterparts, BAND is a place for everyone. Rarely is a person serving as an alternate or substitute. Everyone in the band plays a starting role.

Music is one of the few academic disciplines that requires the student to master skills and apply them in performance. In other words, music involves multiple forms of learning.

Studies by the College Entrance Examination Board show that:

New research on intelligence and brain function point in exciting future directions that tie directly to music, while the continuing use of music as part of the curriculum is clearly associated with both academic skills and personal characteristics that are highly desirable for school progress and for developing the kind of well-educated young people we know we need for the nation’s well-being.

Students (1993) with experience in music performance scored measurably higher in both the verbal and math sections of the Standardized Achievement Test (22 points above the mean on verbal and 18 points above the mean on math).

There continues to be a significant (and growing) spread between the scores obtained by musicians and those of their non-musical counterparts.

The correlation between cognitive learning and musical understanding continues to prove they are linked, and improving one will develop the other.

In fact, music is suspected to be the key for unlocking the scientific mind.

The theory of “multiple intelligences” tags music as one of the separate minds, and being exposed to music strengthens all other learning forms. Scores rise proportionately higher with the length of time spent studying music in school.