Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre and the late “Mother of Hubble” Nancy Grace Roman had something in common when they were children: they both enjoyed watching the stars at night. For Roman, the interest was encouraged by her mother, a music teacher. Roman’s early stargazing eventually led her to become a renowned NASA astronomer who led planning for the Hubble Space Telescope and lobbied Congress for funding. For Whitacre, his childhood experiences compelled him to create a powerful composition and film about Hubble’s findings.
Aaron Dworkin says he did not know about many black classical composers before he went to college. Long before he was named a MacArthur Fellow or became a University of Michigan dean, Dworkin lived in a small Pennsylvania town where he didn’t see other young men of color like him playing string instruments. The day Dworkin’s professor pulled works by William Grant Still off the shelf, a whole new world was opened up to him.
What started as a single day of music advocacy by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) back in March of 1973 has grown into a month of celebration and advocacy for music in our schools. The tireless efforts of NYSSMA, other state organizations, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to promote the importance of music education has been joined by the other arts, and March is now recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as “Arts in Our Schools Month.”
Processing sound is one of the human brain’s most difficult jobs. The task involves multiple brain systems that need to be able to respond in microseconds. Over the history of human development, it has been important for survival to be able to instantly and precisely recognize the sound of a snapping twig or a crunching leaf when it’s dark.
What started as a single day of music advocacy by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) back in March of 1973 has grown into a month of celebration and advocacy for music in our schools. Our tireless efforts to promote the importance of music education has been joined by the other arts, and March is now recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as “Arts in Our Schools Month.”
March is Music in Our Schools Month, and this year we are celebrating with quotes from some of our close friends in the world of conducting, composition, and music education. Over the years, we have talked to many distinguished musicians, and one of the unifying topics of discussion has been the importance of music education. Now, we would like to share with you their thoughts.
It’s no secret that taking part in musical activities has a significant positive effect on young people’s academic achievement. There are countless news stories from reputable organizations that extol the virtues of music education, and it is easy to find discussions by experts in neuroscience about just how impactful music can be.
A love of making music is ingrained in the culture of not only our nation, but the entire world. The evidence of that can be seen in our traditions, our media, and, perhaps in its purest form, in our schools. One need only spend a few minutes with an elementary band, orchestra, or choir to see the unadulterated joy created by music.
Listen as composer John Rutter delves deeply into the importance of choir in all aspects of life. He shares his own love of music with us as he discusses the many places music enters our lives and changes who we are. Please enjoy these few words of wisdom from one of music’s greatest minds.
Why join the choir? Well, for one reason, you’d be in some very good company. Here’s a rundown of some former choir members: