Philosophical Foundations for Music Education

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					 Music Education - Do We Really Need It?
         The current dilemma in public schools

State and Federal Mandates            School Funding
                        Music Education -

Is it really that important in light of diminishing resources?

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           Great Reasons for Music Education:

 Music raises math scores!

 Music develops discipline.

 Music develops focus.
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 Being in music groups
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                Those are great reasons, but…

If the primary purpose of music in the curriculum is to
    enhance non-musical learning, we are probably wasting
    resources that could be used more efficiently elsewhere
    to produce the same or better results.

                                    the education of
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     Three fundamental bases for Music Education

                 1) Biological Basis

                         2) Sociological Basis
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                                  3) Anthropological Basis
      Biological Basis for Music Education

The biological basis for music education can be summarized as the
  purposeful cultivation of the musical capacity in every student.

Premise 1: All humans have an innate cognitive capacity for music

Premise 2: Cultivating that cognitive capacity has beneficial outcomes
   desirable for all students
   Biological Basis for Music Education
MRI research reveals neurological structures for music processing.

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                                       Levitin & Tirovoloas, 2009, p. 212
        Biological Basis for Music Education
The chart below identifies the brain regions activated by various music elements.
   Once considered a “right-brain” function, current research findings demonstrate
   that music is whole-brain.

                                                             Purwins et al, 2003, p. 155
    Biological Basis for Music Education

“We now know that musical operations involve disparate regions of the
brain, including all lobes of the brain, and both cortical and sub cortical
structures. In particular, the roles of the cerebellum [movement coordination,
balance and equilibrium] and amygdala [emotional responses/memory] are
becoming increasingly appreciated. The components of music, including
pitch, rhythm, contour, and timbre, are subserved by distinct and separable
neural processing units. Music processing shares some circuitry with spoken
language processing yet also involves distinct neural circuits.”
                            Levitin and Tirovolas, 2009, p. 226
     Biological Basis for Music Education

Using MRI technology, Christian Gaser and Gottfried Schlaug
  observed enlargement of regions of brain gray matter in amateur
  and professional musicians, when compared with non-
  musicians. The greatest enlargement was found in the tissue of
  professional musicians.
[Gray matter routes sensory or motor stimulus to interneurons of
  the central nervous system.]
Biological Basis for Music Education

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                    Gaser & Schlaug, 2003, p. 9243
   Biological Basis for Music Education
Why is music education important biologically?

1. Humans have innate cognitive structures (both
   shared and distinct) to process music.

2. Music is a “Brain Gymnasium,” beneficial for all
   students. Even on the amateur level, music can
   increase the mass of brain gray matter.
   Sociological Basis for Music Education
Sociologically, music education provides authentic,
   stimulating and valid experiences through performance,
   composition and listening.

Premise 1: Music is a fundamental part of society.

Premise 2: Music connects students to society.

Premise 3: Music education prepares gifted and talented
   music students for a career in music.
      Sociological Basis for Music Education
    Every student is part of multiple societal groups.
    Music contributors to the identity, tradition and cohesion of these groups.
    Music preserves and perpetuates societal groups.
               Example 1                      Example 2

   Family/Tribe/Clan                                       Village/Town/City

     Sociological Basis for Music Education

Music education provides students a myriad of opportunities to participate
   in, and perpetuate the valued traditions of their society in “important,
   authentic, substantive, meaningful, artistic experience that connect
   them with their culture” (Duke, 2001, p.36).

Music education introduces students to the pluralism of contemporary
   society by guiding discovery and performing music of multiple societal
   groups. Music is a “real-world” sociological laboratory.
      Sociological Basis for Music Education
Music education prepares talented and gifted music students for careers in the global
   economy. Teaching, composing and performing are the traditional fields. But
   new opportunities are expanding in music production, music therapy, and
   electronic media.

By the year 2011, 30% of music retail revenue will be the delivery of music to
    mobile phones (Jones, 2007, para 1).

Music students are finding greater flexibility in designing undergraduate double
   major programs that include music, but prepare them for advanced studies in
   other major fields as well. Case Western Reserve and Columbia University now
   offer programs that prepare musicians for graduate study in chemistry,
   psychology, law, medicine and engineering.
    (Columbia University Department of Music, 2007; Case Western Department of Music, 2009.)
     Sociological Basis for Music Education
Sociologically, every student involved in music education has the
   opportunity to:
•   Celebrate and participate in society in a valuable and authentic experience.
•   Listen and move; compose, sing and play music of multiple societies.
•   Develop a skill with which they may participate in, and appreciate society.
•   Prepare for careers in music in the global marketplace.
  Anthropological Basis for Music Education
Anthropologically, Music Education preserves, perpetuates and instills
   appreciation for the unique creativity, culture, and history of humans.

Music has been shown to extend far into pre-history. The oldest known
  instrument (35,000 year old bird-bone flute) was discovered in a
  German cave in 2008. (McGroary, 2009, n.p.)

Cuneiforms of the Neolithic era demonstrate that Near Eastern cultures
   were using scales and harmonies in music. (Kilmer, 1998.)

Rock gongs were being used in the Neolithic era in Southern India.
                  (Boivin, Brumm, Lewis, Robinson, & Korisettar, 2007, p. 272)
  Anthropological Basis for Music Education
Anthropologically, Music Education develops an awareness and
  appreciation for the unique creativity of humans.

Not only does music span human history, it is pan-cultural. There is no
  people group on earth that does not “do music.” From the most remote
  pre-literate peoples to the technologically advanced, humans create,
  listen to and participate in music.

Anthropologically, when students do music, they are getting back to their
  roots - they are being human. They are also experiencing the
  wonderful panorama of human culture in all its richness and variety.
                What does this philosophy look like?

1.   Music (the Arts) as a core subject - International Baccalaureate Model
2.   Music permeates the school setting through passive and active listening
     across the curriculum and school assemblies
3.   Cross-curricular music (arts) experiences
4.   General and advanced music opportunities for all grade levels (Oakwood JH
     Jazz Band, HS Women’s Ensemble, HS String Quartet, AP Theory)
5.   Honors credit for advanced study available for upper level music courses
6.                           track for future a
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7.   Providing significant, authentic music experiences for the musically
8.   Adequate staffing, rehearsal and performance facilities to meet student needs
9.   Achieving the National Standards for Music, k-12
  Music Education - Do We Really Need It?

Yes! Music exercises the brain - the whole brain.

Yes! Music connects us to our society and to the society of others.

Yes! Music is a viable career choice for the musically gifted and talented.

Yes! Music celebrates the creativity and cultural history of humanity!
                                            Works Cited
Boivin, N. I., Brumm, A. D., Lewis, H.E., Robinson, D. A., & Korisettar, R. A. (2007). Sensual, material, and
   technological understanding: exploring prehistoric soundscapes in south India. Journal of the Royal Anthropological
   Institute, 13(2), 267-294.
Department of Music. Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved July3, 2009 from
Department of Music. Pre-Med Concentration submitted by EthnoAdmin on July 26, 2007 - 3:57pm. Columbia
   University. Retrieved July 3, 2009 from
Duke, R. A. (2001). The Other Mozart Effect: An Open Letter to Music Educators. Missouri School Music, 55(4), 36-40.
Gaser, C. & Schlaug, G. (2003). Brain Structures Differ between Musicians and Non-Musicians. The Journal of
   Neuroscience, October 8, 2003, 23(27), 9240-9245.
Jones, K.C. (2007, December 4). Mobile Music A $11 Billion Industry By 2011. InformationWeek, para 1. Retrieved
Kilmer, A. (1998). The musical instruments from Ur and ancient Mesopotamian music. Expedition, 40(2), 12-19.
Levitin, D. J., & Tirovolas, K. (2009). Current Advances in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music. Annals of the New
   York Academy of Sciences, 1156(1), 211-231.
McGroarty, P. (2009). Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known. Associated Press, June 25, 2009. Retrieved July
  4, 2009 from
  ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT on July 4, 2009
Purwins, H., Herrera, P., Grachten, M., Hazan, A., Marxer, R., & Serra, X. (2008). Computational models of music
   perception and cognition I: The perceptual and cognitive processing chain. Physics of Life Reviews, 5(3), 151-168.

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