Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Top Celebrity Quotes about Music Education

Top 5 Quotes About Music Education

After more than three decades as a music educator I’ve read literally hundreds of quotes from politicians (including several presidents), famous actors and entertainers, and prominent business people and industry leaders.   These five are my favorites because they provide simple, yet profound, insight and understanding that music education is far more than just about learning to play music:  music is the vehicle that brings us so much more. 

During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought me great peace of mind.  I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North, and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey.  What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.
General H. Norman Schwarzhopf
United States Army

Should we not be putting all our emphasis on reading, writing, and math? The “back to basics curricula,” while it has merit, ignores the most urgent void in our present system – absence of self-discipline.  The arts, inspiring – indeed requiring – self-discipline, may be more “basic” to our nation’s survival than traditional credit courses.  Presently, we are spending 29 times more on science than on the arts, and the result so far is worldwide intellectual embarrassment.
Paul Harvey
Syndicated Radio Show Host

A grounding in the arts will help our children to see; to bring a uniquely human perspective to science and technology.  In short, it will help them as they grow smarter to also grow wiser.
Robert Allen, Chairman & CEO
AT&T Corporation 

It is our job, as parents, educators, and friends, to see that our young people have the opportunity to attain the thorough education that will prepare them for the future.  Much of that education takes place in the classroom.  We must encourage our youngsters in such pursuits as music education.  In addition to learning the valuable lesson that it takes hard work to achieve success, no matter what the arena, music education can provide students with a strong sense of determination, improved communication skills, and a host of other qualities essential for successful living.
Edward H. Rensi, President & CEO
USA McDonald’s Corporation 

In every successful business….there is one budget line that never gets cut.  It’s called Product Development – and it’s the key to any company’s future growth.  Music education is critical to the product development of this nation’s most important resource – our children.
John Sykes, President

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5 Ways to Help your Baby Enjoy Music

5 Ways to Help your Baby Enjoy Music

While waiting to order in an outdoor restaurant the group I was with could not help but notice a baby reacting to the music being played by a group of jazz musicians….the child was completely captivated and physically moving both hands and feet to the pulse of the music.  Music has a powerful effect on our emotions and researchers believe musical training not only strengthens existing pathways in the brain, but also actually creates new ones.   Parents know that a quiet, gentle lullaby can soothe a fussy baby…..or that loud, rock music can greatly energize young children.   But music also can affect the way we think. 

In recent years we’ve learned a great deal about human brain development.   We are born with billions of brain cells.  During the first years of life those cells form connections with other brain cells and, over time, the connections we use regularly become stronger.   Some of these pathways actually affect the way we think and function.   We know that music making stimulates brain activity more than any other activity and researchers believe musical training creates new pathways in the brain.   

Even while still in the womb, hearing is the first sense to awaken.  Scientific studies indicate that the fetus awakens to sounds around the 16th week of pregnancy and begins to react to them from the 20th or 21st week.  Around 25 weeks the fetus recognizes the difference between sounds. 

Parents and child care providers can help nurture children’s love of music beginning in infancy.  Here are some ideas from a very creative company who produces music just for babies and young children (
v  Play music for your baby, even while they are in the womb.  Expose your baby to many different musical selections of various styles.   But keep the volume moderate…loud music can damage a baby’s hearing. 

v  Sing to your baby.   It doesn’t matter how well you sing!  Hearing your voice helps your baby begin to learn language.  Babies love the patterns and rhythms of songs.  Even very young babies can recognize specific melodies once they’ve heard them. 

v  Sing with your child.  As children grow, they enjoy singing with you.  And setting words to music actually helps the brain learn them more quickly and retain them longer.  That’s why we remember the lyrics of songs we sang as children, even if we have not heard them in years. 

v  Start music lessons early.  If you want your child to learn an instrument, you don’t need to wait until elementary school to begin lessons.  Young children’s brains are equipped to learn music and most four and five year olds enjoy music making and can learn the basics of some instruments…particularly string instruments and piano.   

v  Encourage your child’s school to teach music to every child every day.  Decades of research strongly indicates that music study significantly enhances all areas of learning.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Benefits of playing Musical Instruments you can't live without

Americans Agree On Benefits Of Playing Musical Instruments  
Recent Gallop Survey polls reveal that a very high percentage of Americans agree there are many benefits gained by learning to play a musical instrument.   As outlined by the 2009 Public Attitudes Towards Music study, more people own musical instruments and are playing than have in the last decade even though there have been challenges to music education programs.  In these harsh economic times, where music education in schools is often threatened, the report shows that it is more important than ever to provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy the benefits of music, particularly our youth.   More than nine in ten surveyed agreed that making music helps children make friends, develop creativity, build teamwork skills, and enhance intellectual development. 

According to the survey, Americans completely or mostly agree that benefits for young children and teenagers playing musical instruments include: 

  • Helping children develop creativity (59% completely & 37% strongly agree)
  • Helping develop teamwork skills from playing in band (51% completely & 45% strongly agree)
  • Helping a child’s overall intellectual development (45% completely and 49% strongly agree)
  • Helping make friends (42% completely agree)
  • Helping prepare them to be creative & innovative in the workforce (42% completely & 49% strongly agree)
  • Yielding better grades, teaches discipline, motivates them to stay in school (36% completely & 52% strongly agree)
  • Relieving stress and providing relaxation (47% completely agree) 

Additional study highlights include: 

  • Nearly all (96%) survey respondents believe musical skills can be learned at any age
  • Most (92%) completely (56%) or mostly (36%) agree schools should offer music as part of the regular curriculum
  • Most (80%) completely (43%) or mostly (37%) agree that music education should be mandated by the states.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Music Educator tells 4 Secrets to Success in Music and Careers

Whese 4-Rs Are The Most Important Of All!
I had amazing jr. high and high school band experiences growing up in a small farming community in southwest Kansas.  We were taught if we consistently applied and stayed dedicated to the 4 R’s (Right Place, Right time, Right materials, Right attitude) that we would be successful both individually and collectively.  We learned if any of these basic tenets were absent that the other three could not make up for the resulting deficits and negative consequences caused by leaving one out, and this incompleteness only served to noticeably diminish progress towards our goals.  By holding one another accountable for these basic 4-Rs we able to not only perform musically at a very high level, but also assimilated these core values into every other aspect of our lives.   This master teacher-band director utilized music as the vehicle to teach us how to excel personally and collectively as an organization.   

As schools have pushed for excellence measured by testing results for the 4-Rs we have consistently heard from business owners and employers that the four basics outlined above are far more important to them.  What good is it to have well educated individuals in the workplace if they don’t arrive on time and have poor attitudes? Certainly, the discipline, focus and dedication required in learning to play a musical instrument and perform flawlessly as part of a large ensemble requires these basic skill sets which are needed more than ever in a society which has become dangerously permeated with an instant gratification and entitlement outlook.  More than ever, we need music in our schools for every child to help teach them these basic fundamentals of human functioning.  Our society may well depend on it.  

Brad Bone
Musician & Music Educator
National Sales Manager -

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

30+ year Music Education Veteran weighs in on where to rent a musical instrument

Ralph Weber and the Joy of Music.

As a child I was exposed to music at very young age.  My father was a band director for 37 years, and my mother continues to be a church organist (over 40 years).  

From the first night my Dad brought home my new student trombone to directing bands and choirs as an educator and church choir director, music runs through the Weber Household. All of my children were also fortunate to experience the joy of music.  Each of them either played in band or orchestra and my daughter continues as a music educator today.

My experiences as a musician, educator, and school music dealer have served me well in all my business and social relationships. To see the joy on the face of a young student in middle school band being able to master the “buzzing” and play that first note on a trumpet, to the awkward feeling of holding the violin and drawing a bow across the strings to make that first “screeching sound”, is very satisfying. Helping parents answer the question "where can I rent a musical instrument" has evolved over time. Parents truly have it easier today for SBO rentals (school band and orchestra) using because of the quality, economics, choice and convenience through renting instruments online with our eCommerce platform.

Having spent 30 years traveling around to all sizes of schools in the Midwest and testing children on all the instruments, assisting to develop gives me the opportunity to bring music to more students. After years of servicing students and parents over the counter and face to face, we still have a counter in our showroom at's headquarters, but I use email and the phone to help assist people in their choices and decisions.

Every day brings that new mom or dad to the website looking for a quality instrument at an affordable rental rate for their son or daughter. I enjoy helping parents on renting a trombone, to helping advanced students pick out the right step up instrument. I personally inspect every instrument before it goes to the shipping department making sure everything is setup and ready for instant success.  Many times students fail when they inherit Mom or Dads old smelly clarinet. Being able to provide that name brand quality instrument and not an  “instrument shaped object” gives me great joy and satisfaction.  

Every child should have the opportunity to experience the lifetime of music.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Get into College - A Consistent Theme

Colleges Desire Participation In The Arts

Harvard University:  “The ARTS are clearly an integral part of life at Harvard and Radcliffe, important for their value to the college environment and also for the potential they provide for lifelong enrichment.  In addition to academic criteria, therefore, we always consider extracurricular talents and personal strengths when we evaluate a candidate’s credentials.  We look for students whose previous participation in the ARTS shows that they can make substantial contributions to our community” 

Yale University:  “Qualifications for admissions to Yale University include not only the reasonably well-defined areas of academic achievement and special skill in non-academic areas, but also the less tangible qualities of capacity for involvement, commitment and personal growth.  The ARTS offer remarkable opportunities for the exercise of these qualities.  The highly skilled artist, the student whose intellectual interests include close study of the ARTS, and the many applicants who demonstrate motivation and the willingness to extend their reach through participation in the ARTS, all promise to enhance the quality of life at Yale.” 

Stanford University:  “…..we believe that exposure to the creative and PERFORMING ARTS enhances a student’s intellectual breadth.” 

Cornell University:  “There is no magic formula that ensures admission – or forebodes rejection -  to Cornell University……the ARTS can play an important role.  As we seek students who will make contributions to the Cornell community, where are ARTS are so prevalent, their exposure and experience in high school are highly valued.” 

John Hopkins University:  “The real challenge in selective college admission is not to assemble a class capable of negotiating a rigorous academic curriculum, but one that also will enhance the quality of life on our campus.  Participation in the PEFORMING ARTS during the pre-college years is a clear indication to our admission committee that a student is dedicated to, excited about and engaged in the educational journey.  As such, a background in the ARTS is one factor that helps us choose, among academically qualified students, a class which will avail itself of the many opportunities at Hopkins and will contribute to the life of the University.” 

The University of Michigan:  “Intellectual leaders from Plato to the present have recognized the importance of the ARTS to a thriving civilization.  The University of Michigan joins in recommending the ARTS because of their humanizing influences, their demands for self-discipline, their abilities to evoke idealistic dreams that transcend everyday issues, their effectiveness in reflecting the achievements of diverse peoples, and their capacities to stimulate that most important of all intellectual abilities: creativity.  Perhaps in no past era of our increasingly global civilization have these qualities been more sorely needed than they are today.”