This may be an obvious question for most of us, but as I continue to think about the future of music education and how we can reach more people, I think we need to be able to justify “Why We Study Music.” Too often we don’t quantify or have solid evidence why someone should study music. We all know how it feels to work hard, practice and then perform to the best of our ability. Unfortunately, our government agencies can’t or won’t understand why they should fund arts organizations. We need to be able to give them solid, research based evidence.

The new buzz word in academia is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education Movement. This is also important to Washington DC. It is so important that the US Department of a Education has it listed on their website. As music educators, we need to advocate for STEAM (adding Arts to the STEM framework) to ensure that our kids learn how to be life long learners who are creative, productive and have a sense of global culture.

There is never one answer to all of the questions about how we should educate our children. There are always new and developing theories. As a music education student, I remember studying about Goals 2000 (yes, I just dated myself…). STEM and STEAM are the new movements (even though they have been around for a couple of years).

After watching the video by Anita Collins (“How playing an instrument benefits your brain”) I started doing some reading on STEAM. Below I have compiled some articles, videos and interviews. Please take some time and read through these resources. As always, if there is something else I should add to the list, please let me know.

Why STEAM?

Twelve Benefits of Music Education

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music (NPR)

Music Lessons Enhance IQ

Dave Gerhart

Dave Gerhart

Dr. Dave Gerhart, Product Manager, Percussion for Yamaha Corporation of America and Lecturer of Percussion at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach, is a nationally recognized performer, composer, and educator. Dr. Gerhart, originally from Fairfield, California, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach.
Dave Gerhart

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