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Why is music important?


Music engages different areas of your brain. Other subjects may also do this, but not at the level music does. For some students, abstract thinking is their mode of choice. Others are concrete thinkers. Abstract thinkers are more interested in WHY something is what it is, concrete thinkers just accept that it is what it is. Both are valid and important. Music uses both simultaneously. For abstract thinkers music is a breath of fresh air, for concrete thinker it is a new experience. Public schools are geared toward concrete thinking.

The History of Music Education


In the past elementary school classes learned to read music, sing on pitch, and general theory in the school district classrooms. The classroom teacher taught music daily as part of the standard subjects. A music specialist would teach the class twice each month, but the classroom teacher did the lion’s share of the instruction. No instruments were required, we sang. Budget cuts were the demise of this important class.

The general music education class gave all students an opportunity to learn the language of music from first grade thru the eighth grade. High schoolers were prepared to join the High School choir, band or orchestra. Instruments were available from the school at no cost to the student or families had instruments they purchased and they passed between family members thru generations. Students could advance from entry-level classes to advanced level ensembles as skills improved. Students who could afford private lessons also had access to the ensembles. Everyone who wanted to had the opportunity to enjoy performing music.

Was everyone running off to college to major in music? NO. Students acquired an appreciation for music. Music was part of their education.

Elementary school was first grade to eighth grade, then you entered High School. The graduation from Elementary School to High School was a special occasion. There were a number of elementary schools in my town, each eighth-grade class learned the same choir music sung in four-part harmony. At the graduation ceremony, all the schools sang together filling the hall with a sound none of us had ever heard before. That moment was a pure wonder. What a fantastic way to say good-bye to one era of your life and enter another. That music profoundly affected everyone in the ceremony that day.


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In this class, students explore

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  • Reading music in all the clefs, treble, bass, and C clefs.
  • Our instrument is our voice. Rhythm is the new “Math”.
  • Basic theory, how scales, modes, chords and key signatures all intertwine to create a composition.
  • Experience instruments from brass, woodwind, string and keyboard families.
  • Explore the history of music. Music games aid in learning concepts.
  • Learn to write a melody and harmonize that melody.

This class is a very active, high energy class that encourages group discussion.

Olympic College in Poulsbo WA offered me the opportunity to teach this class in the Adult Life Time Learning program. Mature adults enjoyed learning the science of music, resulting in writing and harmonizing original melodies in a six-week class. The class had advanced and beginning pianists, bass banjo, etc. The mix created a challenge everyone enjoyed.

Offered to all age of students beginning with 5-year-old children to mature adults.

Classes are formed with students of like age with 4-10 students in each class.

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