According to this report there may be a strong link...

The Georgia Project found that school districts in Georgia that made staffing and funding of their arts programs a priority tended to have higher overall rates of student participation in the arts, and higher rates of arts student retention. Such districts tend to have lower dropout rates in grades 9 – 12 and thus keep their students in school longer and graduate more of them. Students tended to score higher on achievement and performance tests, such as the SAT and Georgia High School Graduation Test. They tended to graduate more of their students with college prep diplomas, percentages increasing with diversity of arts curriculum and percent of students participating. While these findings do not prove a cause and effect relationship, they do indicate "strong arts programs need not come at the expense of academic achievement." Rather, the arts are an important factor in achieving academic excellence.

Executive Summary, The Georgia Project: A Status Report on Arts Education in the State of Georgia, 2004; Dr. John Benham, President, Music in World Cultures Program, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN (click here for source)

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If you've ever had to travel with a young child or baby you know what this post could be all about! If the baby does not travel well no one travels well. We had one of those trips this afternoon. We were visiting family today for a pre-Easter celebration. We decided to go there and back in one day because we have a new baby that is almost 5 months old. She is not used to being in new places overnight and we aren't either.

Our departure was timed to coincide with our newborn's nap schedule. Our newborn didn't agree though. She was overtired and was going to have none of it. About 30 minutes into the trip she started crying something terrible! Nothing we were doing was helping. All seemed hopeless. Then in a blast of brilliance I asked my oldest daughter, six years old, to start singing to her sister.

The result was nothing short of amazing!!!

Within minutes our baby started to calm down and even doze off. After 15 minutes of calm family singing she was sound asleep and stayed that way until we arrived home.

Music has a special impact on people in so many different ways. It is influential physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Today was no different. It calmed our youngest daughter physically. It kept us from going bonkers mentally. It was emotionally soothing and brought joy to my oldest to help like that. It was an answer to prayer (I know that analogy is a stretch but it's true!). And finally, I was able to teach my oldest daughter a few new songs in the process (that's the academic part).

Music does something for the human soul that few other elements can. Thank God for music!
Last night was my Spring Concert for the 2nd and 4th grades. What a neat time! Everyone was all dressed up and so proud of themselves. Parents, grandparents, and neighbors filled the gym where the concert was held and a vibrant buzz filled the air.

I was so impressed at how well the children did, even before the concert began. In the weeks leading up to the concert the 2nd grade just sang their hearts out! And last night they did not fail to impress. They sang four songs (one of which was in a round), danced two dances, and stomped & clapped their way through one rhythm piece (a pretty difficult piece as far as second graders go). I would've loved for them to have put together more pieces with instruments but I just did not leave the time for preparation.

The fourth graders also did a superb job. Their road leading up to the concert was a little more bumpy though. They performed four songs (one of which was again, a round), three recorder pieces, one dance, and a rhythm piece. The rhythm piece was pretty neat. They did it in unison first, then in a 4-beat round, a 2-beat round, and then a 1-beat round. Very cool stuff! Their finale was a dance that almost didn't happen. I'll leave it at that.

I wish the parents could see everything that goes on in class. There is so much. I am so proud of the kids. I love what I do and I love seeing the kids enjoy themselves and making music!!!
Welcome to my site. I am designing this site primarily for the purpose of passing on information about music and education. From time to time you will see a wide variety of oddities, such as this video of kindergarten guitar players seen below!

I also plan on posting information and resources about a summer program I am developing. It is called "Soundation." This is basically a summer music education program for those who either might not have access to music class or might want more. If this intrigues you please feel free to check out the page over on the left.