The perennial discussion to cut school music in BC

Updated April 17
It seems that every few years in this province of BC we encounter a movement that wishes to cut the “frills” from education in order to balance the books at local school boards. The latest is the City of Vancouver, you know that town here on the west coast that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics just a few short years ago. It seems that Vancouverites can’f afford to pay for the “frills” otherwise known as those arts, music and library programs that essentially are what distinguish humans from primates.

But from this morning’s Vancouver Sun it looks like Vancouver’s difficulties are just the beginning tell-tale signs of the massive underfunding of our provincial education system by our provincial government.

But is the province entirely to blame? Juxtapose this with the costs of administration at VSB, look at the number of employees making more than $150,000 per year.  Actually there are 174 people at VSB making more than $100,000 per year. You can look up this information by going here.

If one looks through the contents of this blog one will find much compelling evidence as to the importance of music education and the arts in general.

But if anyone still needs convincing, here is yet another article that deals with the current crisis created by chronic underfunding by our Provincial Government and a lack of cognitive ability at the VSB.

Anyway, just so we can remind ourselves, here are some reasons why music education is an important component of every child’s development.

From   here is some more scientific rational as to why we need music in our schools.

Benefits of Musical Training on Cognitive Function and Emotional Well-Being
Musical training enhances auditory processing, leading to better verbal skills and increased reading ability:

  • Musical training enhances brainstem auditory responses to both speech and music.  Musicians have better encoding of pitch information in speech, which is important for understanding what is being said, as well as the emotional content of speech. (Musacchia et al.,2007; Strait et al., 2009)
  • Musicians are better able to filter away background noise, and so can better encode and understand speech in the presence of background noise (Parbery-Clark et al., 2009)
  • Adults who had musical training as a child (but did not necessarily continue playing music as an adult) still have better brainstem responses to sound.  This indicates that changes in the brain in response to early musical training are long-lasting.(Skoe and Kraus, 2012)
  • Musical training protects against the normal age-related decline in auditory processing.  Older musicians show the same accurate processing of sounds as young people.  This effect of musical training is not limited to professional or life-long-musicians.  Even a few years of musical training during childhood had a protective effect on auditory processing in seniors, even 50 years later.  (Parbery-Clark et al., 2012; White-Schwoch et al., 2013)
  • University students with musical training before the age of 12 had better verbal memory  than people with no musical training (Chan et al., 1998)
  • Children  with at least 3 years of musical training performed better on vocabulary tests than children with no musical training.There was a positive correlation between duration of musical study and performance on test; in other words, the longer the child had studied music, the more likely she was to do well on the vocabulary test. (Forgeard et al., 2008)

There is much more folks, follow the link here…. to find the rest of this article

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