Following a conversation I had with a colleague in a West London school today I did a quick search for music programmes in Harlem, New York City. I came across Opus 118 and was struck by their vision for putting music making at the heart of the curriculum:
Learning a musical instrument is a unique way of exposing children to beauty.
- Music education is a prime tool to awaken creativity and to teach concentration and focus.
- Focused study of a musical instrument affects a student’s academic performance in other subject areas in a positive way.
- Structured musical activities for students during the non-school hours are a means of preventing violence and drug abuse.
- Music is an instrument of peace, allowing students an emotional release in a time of social conflict and stress while teaching tolerance in a diverse community.
- In preparing young minds for a complex world, music education serves not only as a means to teach collaboration and cooperation, but also as a guide in solving complex problems.
- Music education creates and expands horizons for children who would otherwise lack the opportunity to experience the benefits that are derived from such an education.