Check out this link from the AMP organization:
Sometimes we advocate through our own actions...how to make band performances positive experiences that are viewed as valuable:
Will Being In The Band Help Keep You In College?
Aug. 27, 2014 Bryan Rachal, Public Affairs and Media Relations
FLORENCE, Ala. – A recent series of studies conducted by the University of North Alabama’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment looked into the retention rate of UNA’s band members. The findings provide an interesting assessment of the group.
The first study looked at the freshman cohort group in band retention and graduation rates. This study compared full-time freshman who were not band members and freshman in the band from the fall of 2009 through the fall of 2012. The study showed that in the fall of 2009 there were 1,101 students in the university’s freshmen cohort group. Out of that group, 68 were on the band roster that fall semester.
The one-year retention rate for the fall of 2009 was 65.6 percent; whereas, the retention rate for those in the band cohort was 82.4 percent. That number remains relatively similar as you continue through the fall of 2012, indicating that this isn’t a passing fad.
Where the numbers seemed to differentiate the most were graduation rates for the university cohort vs the band cohort. In 2009, the four-year graduation rate was much higher for non-band members than for band members, with 11.5 percent and 5.88 percent, respectively. However, when you look at that same period of time and add an additional year of school to graduate, the rates are dramatically different.
In the fall of 2009, the five-year graduation rate for non-band members was 19 percent; but for band members that number jumped to 39.71 percent.
Dr. Lloyd Jones, associate professor of music and UNA’s director of bands, said the retention rates weren’t that shocking. “We’re not surprised about the retention. Numerous studies have shown that kids in band tend to stay in school. Some reports I have seen even suggest that they get better grades during the fall marching band season, even though it’s busier, because band students tend to be good time managers and stay focused.”
Another interesting aspect is the fees band members pay vs. non-band members. One of the reports tackled the issue by looking at the 2009 group of freshmen band cohort and the scholarships awarded to them, in addition to the tuition and fees paid each academic year.
For example, of the 68 freshmen that were involved in band in 2009, 32 continued the following academic year. Those 32 received just slightly more than $46,000 in band scholarships and were charged $213, 069 in tuition and fees (not including any additional non-band scholarships). Twenty-four students did not continue on in band the following year, but did continue to be enrolled at UNA. These 24 were not awarded any band scholarships and were charged a total of $141,922 in tuition and fees.
One more interesting stat the report produced: When one looks at the total five-year cumulative amounts that the 2009 band cohort received in band scholarships, it equals $236,907. Compare that to the total amount of a little more than $1.6 million they paid in tuition and fees, and it’s pretty staggering.
“For every dollar the University invests in UNA Band members, they get six dollars in return. Additionally, the band students represent the University through performances throughout the region and beyond. There is no way to put a price on recruitment. It never stops and it’s always important,” said Jones.
From the AMP (Association of Music Parents) website:
18 Lessons Marching Band Teaches Our Kids: A Parent’s Perspective
Today’s guest blogger is Penny Ray.
My name is Penny Ray, and I’m a music parent. My husband and I have three teenagers: a sophomore who plays mellophone in her public high school marching band and French horn in the Wind Ensemble at school; an 8th grader who plays trumpet in the local homeschool concert band program; and an 8th grader on the autism spectrum who has not yet been introduced to a musical instrument.
My music experience is limited to the piano lessons that I begged for as a child (that proved piano was not my instrument) and to handbells at church beginning in my high school years. For most of my childhood, I attended a small, rural K-12 school with no band program.
That’s why I’m so glad my kids have the opportunity to march. In this post I’ll highlight 18 lessons that marching band teaches kids.
Music. Music affects the brain. Hearing it. Playing it. Especially playing it. The math involved in playing music keeps the brain active and growing. Music can uplift you when you’re down or dragging.
Neurological multi-tasking. Marching and playing at the same time is challenging, and marching band members meet the challenge of marching at one tempo while playing at another. The neuronal connections grown in marching band will benefit the students throughout life, for multi-tasking through college and in the workplace, and for multi-tasking as a parent.
Discipline. Long rehearsals. Memorize drill. Memorize music. Early is on time; on time is late. The discipline you experience and practice is a foundation for discipline later, through college, in the workplace, as a parent. The discipline of being a part of a team like a marching band is experience that you’ll take with you through life.
Teamwork. Every part of a team is important. Every part contributes. There is amazing satisfaction in coming together with a team, working hard alongside and with a team, to perform a show. And the teamwork is very different from that of a sports team, where the goal is to defeat opponents in games. In sports, teams try to go after an opponent’s weakness and to shut down an opponent’s strong scorer. The teamwork in marching band is about individual and group self-improvement, competing with self, comparing results with self over time.
Camaraderie. Shared experiences over time build relationships and friendships. A job transfer moved our family across the country as my sophomore was ending her 8th grade year. We moved in time for her to attend every practice with the marching band. She began her freshman year in a new school in her new state with a posse of friends from the marching band. Marching band was a wonderful bridge between two states
Time management. From July through November, a good chunk of time will be consumed by rehearsals, football games, and contests. You give up a lot of computer time, video game time, free time during those months. Time management experience will serve you well throughout life.
Sacrifice. Band members get an opportunity to see the benefits of sacrificing what you want to do (computer chats, shopping, goofing off) for the good of the team. There is personal satisfaction in knowing as you are walking off the field together that the group had a good show. Seeing your scores improve throughout the season or from year to year is rewarding. Awards, medals, trophies from festivals and competitions are sweet tangible payoffs to the sacrifices band members make throughout the season.
Resilience. Students mess up. They keep going. Judges make mistakes or make calls we don’t agree with. The band members keep going. Students learn that a bobble or a fall during a competition is not the end of the world. Resilience is a hot topic in psychology today, and being able to bounce back after a mistake or setback is an important skill throughout life, a skill that develops by being practiced and experienced, and (fortunately or unfortunately), there are lots of opportunities to practice in marching band. We parents watched in dismay as our band experienced a tempo tear during prelims of a competition and yet the band recovered and finished strong. I was as proud of them for their collective resiliency as I was by the fact that we made finals that day.
Flexibility combined with creative problem solving. Our band staff embraces feedback from judges’ commentaries. Instead of rigidly insisting that the show they put together at camp in July is perfect, they take constructive criticism seriously and make adjustments where needed. Our staff model flexibility and creative problem solving for the students; the students practice flexibility in tweaking the show until the show is the way the directors want it.
Manners and respect. Band members practice the habits of manners and respect. Students represent both school and community when at a performance or competition. Our band is expected to be respectful in all situations, from rehearsals to football games to competitions. While the parents are going nuts in the stands, the band members on the field remain perfectly still in situations where we all know they wanted to dance and scream.
Generosity. Our kids applaud other bands at competitions. Our parents applaud other bands at competitions. Applauding another band takes nothing away from our own band.
Education and history. The fine arts camp my daughter attended during two summer vacations names cabins after composers. Imagine our delight to make the connection that she stayed in the cabin named for Bizet and last year played a melody from Carmen with the marching band.
Proprioception. That body awareness thang. Marching backwards, marching sideways while facing straight ahead without checking your neighbors’ locations requires you have a good sense of where you are in space and helps students experience and grow in this area.
Trust. When you’re marching backwards, or sideways, you must trust that your bandmates are doing what they’re supposed to do so that you don’t crash into them on a trek across the football field during your precision marching.
Lots of practice hours. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell tells us that 10,000 hours of practice at anything = success. During marching season, marching band students get many more hours of playing music than most non-marching students.
Music programs give our students practice and experience in skills that reach far beyond musical notes and instruments. The kids don’t realize that they are getting experience in so many non-musical life-skills that will have positive impacts as they become adults. Our band director often quotes the Harris Poll that found that 73% of CEOs from Fortune 1000 companies were involved in music programs in high school. When I think about the different areas of development that marching band reaches, I can see why. I am glad that my children have the opportunity that I did not have and watching them and their friends grow into adulthood will be a joy to watch from a front row seat as we parents and teachers see the ways in which marching impacts their lives over the years.
If you found value in this blog post, consider joining AMP Today!
Married for 26 years, Penny Ray has three teenagers including a set of twins where one twin is on the autism spectrum and one twin developed typically. She is an accidental homeschooler of two children at the moment, with the other in public school. A United States Southerner by birth, she spent more than 20 years away from her beloved South before returning to it recently. Her interests include the things that her kids do: marching band, theater, baseball, baseball, baseball, figure skating, special needs cheerleading. She writes about autism and special needs at Homeschooling, Autism, & “Stuff” and at Homeschool Mosaics.
Congratulations to the 307 Districts that received the 2013 Best Communities for Music Education designation as part of the Best Communities for Music Education Program!
Yes....... COBB COUNTY is on that list!!
Click Here to be redirected to Nammfoundation.org for the full listing.
Select These Links for Literature on Advocacy for Music Education
Music Advocacy's Top Ten for Everyone
Research Reveals That Music Benefits the Brain
Friday, July 30, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music -- specifically, learning to play music -- does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than allow us to entertain ourselves and others by playing an instrument or singing. Instead, it actually changes our brains.
The paper, just published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a compilation of research findings from scientists all over the world who used all kinds of research methods. The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally.
So what is it that musical training does? According to the Northwestern scientists, the findings strongly indicate it adds new neural connections -- and that primes the brain for other forms of human communication.
In fact, actively working with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and change. "A musician's brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound. In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean," Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature paper and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, explained in a statement to the media. "The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication."
For example, researchers have found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to comprehend speech in a noisy background.
What's more, children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability than youngsters who haven't had any musical training. And children with learning disabilities, who often have a hard time focusing when there's a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by music lessons. "Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise," Dr. Kraus stated.
The Northwestern researchers concluded their findings make a case for including music in school curriculums. "The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development," they wrote.
In addition to musical training, listening to music has also been shown to have some remarkable beneficial effects on the body. For example, as NaturalNews has previously reported, Tel Aviv University scientists found that premature infants exposed to thirty minutes of Mozart's music daily grew far more rapidly than premature babies not exposed to classical music and researchers at the University of Florence in Italy documented that listening to classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music once a day for four weeks significantly reduced the blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension
Top Ten Reasons to Support Music Education for Parents
Playing an Instrument Helps Tune the Brain
Study shows positive effects from a lifetime of music
By Leslie Mann, Special to the Chicago Tribune March 28, 2012
Note to husbands who need excuses to play the guitar with their buddies and to parents justifying the cost of their children's piano lessons: A new study from Northwestern University in Evanston says lifelong playing of musical instruments has a positive impact on the brain.
"Our neural timing slows as we age; we knew that," said Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist at Northwestern and principal investigator of its Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. "Hearing what your spouse says when you're in a noisy restaurant, for example, is harder when you're older. But this study shows that musicians are faster at processing noise than non-musicians are. This shows us there is a biological impact of musical training."
It makes sense, said Kraus.
"A musician has to be constantly picking out sounds from others," she said. "Just as we lift weights to build our biceps, playing music makes our nervous systems more efficient."
The study included 87 participants — younger (18 to 32) and older (45 to 65), musicians and nonmusicians. The musicians were not all professional, but they played their instruments at least three times a week into adulthood.
"I watched a movie with captions to keep me awake while electrodes on my head measured my reaction to sounds I heard through headphones," said study participant Rick Wunder, 60, from Evanston.
Wunder is a retired systems analyst who has played the trombone since he was a child and now plays in a community symphony and in several brass quartets.
The electrodes measured how Wunder's nervous system responded to the sounds he heard.
"We're talking milliseconds of time," said Kraus. "It's very objective; the mood of the participant didn't matter."
"The results are very interesting, I think," said Wunder. "When I'm with other people my age in a loud place like a sports bar, I can tell they don't necessarily hear what I say, while I still can."
In the study's chart that compares sound to neural responses among musicians, the two wavy lines are in sync. But the nonmusicians' chart looks like confetti (the neural responses) thrown at a wavy line (the sounds the participants heard).
The study is affecting education policymaking, said Kraus.
"We've been pleased to hear from educators who have used our website (soc.northwestern.edu/brainvolts/slideshows/music) to argue for funding for continuation of musical education," she said. "We're giving them biological evidence that, yes, continued musical education matters."
In addition to the effects of aging, musical training affects daily activities of young people such as hearing a teacher in a noisy classroom or even simple conversation, explained Kraus.
"As we're talking, your brain has to remember what you just said," she said.
The study will be published in a 2012 edition of the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
Top Ten Reasons for Music in School for Students
Let the kid study music, already
Music Educaton Advocacy Resources
by Liz Ryan
A weird thing about a lot of parents is that they beam and glow when their kids get solos in orchestra, band and choir in high school, but they freak out when the same talented kid says “I want to study music in college.”
I don’t get it. You raise a kid to have pluck and self-determination, and then when the kid says “I love playing my instrument more than anything, and I want to pursue my passion as a career,” the parent flips out.
Right now is the time of year when parents call me in a frenzy of parental angst about their children’s musical aspirations. They sound panicky on the phone. A child has decided that he or she loves music, and the parent is certain the love of music is going to send an accomplished, self-directed kid straight to Skid Row. They ask me, “Am I dooming my child to a life of poverty if I let him major in music?”
I am glad, when these parents reach out, to have my own story to share with them. Look, I say, I was a music major myself, way back when no Saturday night was complete without a midnight trip to whichever local theatre was showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I went to Manhattan School of Music to study vocal performance. Here I am, thirty years later, still singing and not starving. I sing. I write. I consult. I speak all over the world, and I tell skittish parents, “Let the kid study music, already.”
What backwards thought process got us convinced that only ‘safe’ degrees in computer science and Accounting prepare a child for the real world? Here’s what prepares a kid for real life: growing muscles. Musicians grow those muscles from an early age, because every kid in class can get an A in algebra, but not every kid can be first chair in concert band. There is competition in music. It goes with the territory.
Here are other things that go with the musical territory: - Coming back from a disappointment (not getting the part, the solo or the chair you wanted), doing the gig or the show anyway and learning from and loving it. - Working on something hard, like an upcoming audition, for weeks while your friends are having fun without you. - Digging in to surmount an obstacle (a vocal wobble, e.g.) and getting past it. - Staying in yourself and in the music when a million distractions loom.
In high school, music kids get labeled nerds and wonks, but music kids are hardier than most. You only have to go to a few auditions in freezing churches at the crack of dawn, or be summoned to sing or play at rich person’s house or a corporate event where you wait for your entrance in a filthy catering hallway, to grow a thicker skin and ability to roll with the punches that many kids never approach.
I tell job-seekers that the eight million auditions I went to as a young opera singer prepared me for job-hunting in the business world far better than any job-search training could have done. You go, you sing, and you leave. If the people making the casting decisions like you, great! If they don’t, great! I wish every kid could cultivate that insouciance, and stop working so hard to please other people. Music kids get to be good at that, because they have no other choice.
Music kids are smart kids. They could major in anything. Do we seriously believe that a kid with a degree in musicology or piano won’t make it in the real world, and will end up playing for spare change in the subway? That’s ridiculous. Music kids outperform almost every other group of undergraduates when it comes to taking grad-school exams. They become entrepreneurs, leaders and creators, whether in the music business or somewhere else. It’s easy to see why. They had a voice inside that said “Play your music, kid,” and they listened to it. That’s how muscles are grown.
Here in Colorado, we have an embarrassment of musical riches to inspire kids and keep their parents from fainting at the mental picture of a starving kid on the corner with a cello. We have terrific, top-ranking music programs at CU, CSU, UNC, DU and Metropolitan State, and I’m sure there are others I’m not aware of. We have world-class performers and teachers in each of these institutions, guiding the next generation of kids to grow their musical flames.
Here are just a few of them: Brad Goode is a trumpeter and faculty member at CU-Boulder’s School of Music, when he isn’t touring internationally or recording. Brad finds time to lead a weekly jazz jam at Laudisio’s Restaurant in Boulder on Monday nights. Your kid could study trumpet with Brad and his colleagues without even leaving the state. Will your child’s computer science or Accounting prof be someone who designed a computer, or one of the world’s greatest accountants?
Guitarist and composer Michael DeLalla teaches at Front Range Community College when he isn’t performing, recording or publishing music under his Falling Mountain label. Reviewer Matt Fink of All Music Guide calls Michael “One of the very best acoustic guitarists in the world…music of the most exquisite order.” Thus a kid in his first-ever History of Jazz class might get to learn from a guy who’s performing to packed houses when he isn’t grading papers. Could a semester under a guru like Michael grow a kid’s flame?
Back at CU-Boulder in the vocal performance department, Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson may be teaching a lesson right now. Jennifer is one of the country’s top sopranos, a gorgeous performer with a gift for teaching, whose international career spans roles from Pamina in “The Magic Flute” to Blanche in the operatic version of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Jennifer has sung “Carmina Burana” at Lincoln Center and performed with symphony orchestras in Stuttgart and Luxembourg among many other cities. Can you imagine a better role model for a young singer?
Over at Metropolitan State University, Gene Roberts directs the opera theater program when he isn’t performing and directing around the world. Gene is an acclaimed singer himself, playing the lead in the German production of “Beauty and the Beast” over 500 times and coaching singers from the operatic stage to the rock-and-roll world. In what other discipline do kids study under faculty members who are tops in their own fields, performing on the world stage, connected to the biggest names and projects in their industries, and fanatically passionate about their art?
Can we seriously say “I worry about my kid pursuing his love of music” when we see brilliant performers and coaches like these inspiring kids to reach their potential, every day? I hope not. We can teach our kids to be fearful and stick to ‘safe’ career paths (which are anything but safe, as it turns out) or we can teach them to spread their wings and soar.
What can we say about our years of careful parenting if the ultimate message to our children is “I know you love your music, sweetie, but you’d better not try to pursue it as a career – you might fail”?
Let the kid study music, already. The kid can’t fail. The young musician will find his way, or hers, and get stronger and more resilient all the time. The kid will learn to listen to an inner voice that isn’t yours, or mine, but the kid’s own heart. Isn’t that the channel we want our children tuned into, after all?