Music education in the United States

Music education in the United States can be traced through historical documentation to the colonial era. Among the Native Americans prior to European and African settlement, music education was entirely oral.

History

The earliest systematic music education in the country was centered on the training of singers for Protestant church services, to lead the congregation in psalm-singing.  In the 18th century, the first singing schools in the country were founded, and a number of legendary traveling singing masters traveled New England, teaching in barns, schoolhouses and other informal locations; these masters included Francis Hopkinson and William Billings. By the end of the century, more formal singing schools in cities like Savannah, Philadelphia and Boston become social singing societies.

Public education in the United States first offered music as part of the curriculum in Boston in the 1830s, and it spread through the help of singing teacher Lowell Mason, after he successfully advocated it to the Boston School Committee in 1838. The committee ultimately decided to include music as a curricular subject because it was of a moral, physical, and intellectual nature. Music was considered moral because it played such a part in religion, as well as the fact that had been documented to produce “happiness, contentment, cheerfulness, and tranquility.” It was of a physical nature because singing was exercise for the lungs.The committee justified music’s intellectual nature by stating that it had been studied as a part of the quadrivium in the Middle Ages, and that it “contributes to memory, comparison, attention, and intellectual faculties.”

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In the present era, the real fact is that  funding for music education has been reduced largely. Music teachers struggle and so the society is losing music teachers at a high rate. As the general education system is changing and everything is requires a tested method. It is very difficult to measure musical success  by pencil and paper and it is only through the development  of musicianship. There are some music schools which are extremely conservative and this should be changed. It should be open to multicultural music. There is still room for “traditional” music education and  music educators should embrace the craft as a way to teach creativity, problem-solving and cultural harmony.

Many talented students decide to study abroad at prominent music schools and colleges. For this, student health insurance and travel insurance is a must – click here for more details .

For more information about music education around the world visit International Society for Music Education and the Music Education Council.

Australian Music Schools

With the music industry being a competitive industry, the value of a music education at a respected music school is always a great advantage to further careers. A music education develops the needed skills and knowledge to take graduates to the top of the game. Some of the top music schools and conservatoriums are as follows:
• Collarts Australian College of the Arts at 55 Brady Street, South Melbourne offers a Bachelor Degree in Contemporary music performance.
• ANU School of Music offers study areas in Musicology, Composition, jazz, Woodwind, Voice, Harp, Strings, Percussion, Piano, Guitar and Bass.
• Australian String Academy offers degrees to regional areas of Australia.
• The Faculty of the VCA and Music offers degrees in Art, Dance, Music, Production, Film, Television and Theatre.
• University of Queensland, Australia undergraduate programs, Practical Studies, Bachelor of Music Honors, Bachelors of Arts Honors, Postgraduate programs and Higher degree Programs.
• Southbank institute of Technology
• Algester Star Shopping Centre
• James Cook university
• Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music offers undergraduate courses, Honors degrees, and postgraduate degrees.
• Elder Conservatorium area of study includes classical performance, jazz performance, composition, musicology, music education and music technology. Academic degrees are Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Studies, Bachelor of Music studies with Honors, Postgraduate degrees and masters degrees.
• Australian Youth orchestra
• Australian National academy of Music
• Australian Institute of Music offers Music 1, Music 2, Visual Arts, Dance, Drama and society and culture.
• Lisa Gasteen National Opera School offers a variety of scholarships such as fro pianist repiteurs and full-time scholarships for opera singers.
• Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music
• National Theatre, Melbourne
• Sydney Conservatorium of music
• Tasmanian Conservatorium of music has particular study fields of performance and composition.
• Wollongong Conservatorium of music offers instrumental and vocal music education in contemporary, classical and jazz. They cater for groups and individuals from pre-school age to mature.

Facts about Music Education

To learn and master a musical instrument significantly improves how a brain breaks down and understands the human language. Music student are therefor more apt to pick and learn a second language.
Children of an elementary age, involved in music education, regardless whether it is in a music school or traditional school, show memory development and brain development faster and within a year great difference is visible between children with music lessons and those without music lessons.
Studies conducted at the Columbia University revealed that any student studying arts and music have higher levels of confidence, better equipped in expressing their ideas and themselves and more cooperative with parents, peers, and teachers.
Music education especially a master’s degree in music, like expert technical skills, earns very decent salaries.
Regardless of school district, traditional schools, music schools or socioeconomic status, students proved that when in high-quality music education, score twenty percent better in Mathematics and twenty-two percent higher in English.
Music schools and schools with music education have a 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to traditional schools or schools with no music education, which have an average of 84.9 percent attendance. These schools with music also have a graduation rate of 90.2, as opposed to other schools that have a graduation rate of 72.9.
Research shows that secondary students actively participating in music and belong to music groups reported the lowest lifetime rate and current rate of any substance abuse such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Children studying a musical instrument regardless of the school are more likely to pursue further education, stay in school, have enhanced critical thinking, work better in teams, and excel in all their other studies.
Research proves that music to the brain is the same as exercise is to a body.
Music studies prime a brain in comprehending speech in noisy backgrounds and children with dyslexia and learning disabilities benefit greatly from music education and have larger vocabularies.

Benefits of Music Education

Regardless of the talent of children, they all are bound to befit from any form of music education. Researchers have proven that children with music education and even children in a music school excel beyond those who do not participate in any form of art or music.
A Music school for example teaches children other subject and skills are enhanced which inevitably are used in different areas than conventional school. When children progress to more formal learning after singing and playing instruments, it seems to benefit them significantly more.
Researchers also conclude that music education involves more than just playing of instruments or singing as children in music education taps into multiple skills simultaneously. This is excellent in the improving of memory and under-developed skills. Eyes, ears, large and small muscles are all used in performance of music.
Nobody say that Mozart will make you smarter, but taken into consideration that it is a stimulating and integrating activity is something nobody can deny. Very young children have greater advantages when growing up in musically rich environments than those growing up in quiet homes when looking at language development. Studies show that music training in young children develops the left side of the brain much earlier and faster as this is where language is processed.
Everyone knows the importance of language competence and the importance it carries toward social competence. An increase in IQ is detected in children of age six with regular piano and voice lessons; it was compared over a nine-month period against children with no extracurricular education. It is proven that brains of musicians regardless of age work differently than those of non-musicians.
Children in music education have a larger neural growth activity than those without music education. Musicians use more of their brains and increased sound discrimination, and fine motor tasks. Music education significantly improves children’s in solving problems such as math problems as they can visualize better.

National Standards for Music Education

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• Singing, alone as well as with others
Students will sing either independently, in rhythm, on pitch with appropriate posture, diction and timbre.
Singing must be with interpretation, phrasing, dynamics and expressiveness.
Styles from different cultures, varied repertoires from memory, sing partner songs, rounds and ostinatos.
Sing in groups, matching dynamic levels, blending vocal timbres, responding to conductor’s cues.
• Performing instruments
Alone and with others on pitch, appropriate dynamics, in rhythm, maintain steady tempo. Perform melodic, easy rhythmic, chordal patterns.
Echo short rhythms, perform in groups, match dynamic levels, blend instrumental timbres and preform independent instrumental parts.
• Improvising variations, melodies and accompaniments
Students must improvise answers to given melodic and rhythmic phrases, improvise no traditional sounds, traditional sounds.
• Compose and arrange music
Students must arrange and create music to accompany readings, use variety of sounds when composing.
• Reading and Notating Music
Students receiving music education will read half, whole, quarter, dotted half and eight notes.
They will use a system in which to read pitch notation in treble clef in major keys.
Students will identify traditional terms and symbols referring to articulation, tempo, and dynamics and interpret them correctly in performances.
• Listen to, analyze and describe music
Students in music education will identify music forms when presented aurally.
Demonstrate perceptual skills and use appropriate terminology when explaining music, music instruments, music notation, musical performances, voices.
Identify varied sounds of instruments.
• Evaluate music and musical performances
Students will devise criteria for evaluating compositions and performances. Explain in using appropriate terms, their own personal musical styles and works.
• Understanding relationships between disciplines outside arts, in the other arts and music
Students will identify differences and similarities of common terms in various arts.
• Understand music in relation to history and culture
Student will identify by style aural examples or genre of music from cultures and various historical periods.
Describe uses of music in daily experiences and suitability of uses and characteristics.
Describe how elements of music is used in different cultures using music examples.

• Singing, alone as well as with others
Students will sing either independently, in rhythm, on pitch with appropriate posture, diction and timbre.
Singing must be with interpretation, phrasing, dynamics and expressiveness.
Styles from different cultures, varied repertoires from memory, sing partner songs, rounds and ostinatos.
Sing in groups, matching dynamic levels, blending vocal timbres, responding to conductor’s cues.
• Performing instruments
Alone and with others on pitch, appropriate dynamics, in rhythm, maintain steady tempo. Perform melodic, easy rhythmic, chordal patterns.
Echo short rhythms, perform in groups, match dynamic levels, blend instrumental timbres and preform independent instrumental parts.
• Improvising variations, melodies and accompaniments
Students must improvise answers to given melodic and rhythmic phrases, improvise no traditional sounds, traditional sounds.
• Compose and arrange music
Students must arrange and create music to accompany readings, use variety of sounds when composing.
• Reading and Notating Music
Students receiving music education will read half, whole, quarter, dotted half and eight notes.
They will use a system in which to read pitch notation in treble clef in major keys.
Students will identify traditional terms and symbols referring to articulation, tempo, and dynamics and interpret them correctly in performances.
• Listen to, analyze and describe music
Students in music education will identify music forms when presented aurally.
Demonstrate perceptual skills and use appropriate terminology when explaining music, music instruments, music notation, musical performances, voices.
Identify varied sounds of instruments.
• Evaluate music and musical performances
Students will devise criteria for evaluating compositions and performances. Explain in using appropriate terms, their own personal musical styles and works.
• Understanding relationships between disciplines outside arts, in the other arts and music
Students will identify differences and similarities of common terms in various arts.
• Understand music in relation to history and culture
Student will identify by style aural examples or genre of music from cultures and various historical periods.
Describe uses of music in daily experiences and suitability of uses and characteristics.
Describe how elements of music is used in different cultures using music examples.

Music Education Degrees

The Schulich School of Music is well known for its various available music education programs in contemporary music, early music, jazz, opera and orchestra. It is recognized as a major North American Music School with more than 850 students from all parts of the world. Students looking at music schools in the U.S. are especially drawn to this school by the great reputation of its 240 professors and annual concerts that ranges above 700, as well as the intensive technology and research available in their programs.
A typical Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Music program is comprehensive music teacher training allowing a student to complete two degrees simultaneously. This specific program allows hands-on experience and preparation of students at both elementary and secondary levels and also all musical areas such as Choral, Band and general musical education. Graduates of this combined degree are most sought after world-wide.
Graduate studies like Ph.D and M.A. in music education allow students to explore current issues revolving around music education. Pertinent research literature is used during in-depth examinations as the basis of M.A. and Ph.D programs. Other Music Performance Programs available to students include:
• 1 Year Graduate Diploma in Professional Performance
• D.Mus in Performance Study
• M.Mus in Vocal Pedagogy, Collaborative Piano, Piano, Instruments and Guitar, Early Music, Conducting, Jazz Performance
• Art.Dip in All Instruments, Voice
• L.Mus in All Instruments, Voice , Piano, Jazz Performance
• B.Mus Major in Jazz Performance, Voice, Piano, Early Music Performance
• B.A. with Minor Concentration in Music
• B.A. with Major Concentration in Music
The Department of Music Research has B.Mus. degrees in Music Education, Composition, Music Technology, Music Theory, Music History and the Faculty Program. Liberal arts educations are also available with the offering of a B.A. combined with a Major Concentration in Music. More program options are available to students through the Faculty of Arts & Science in various forms of Minors.

Music Education Jobs in the USA

Music education rates high in most countries in the world and jobs are widely available for qualified music educators in the private industry as well as music school, universities, colleges and more. A typical assistant Professor of music education at a university’s qualification will be a preferred Doctorate in Music Education and preferably some school teaching experience, although it will differ from institution to institution.
A Middle School Music teacher in the USA will have minimum Bachelor’s degree and preferably also some experience. The average annual salary range for this position will be up to $55,000. A Music Therapist position is often designed for students with disabilities and the music is used as therapy for emotional, behavioural, psycho-social, sensory-motor, physiological and more problems children may have. A Music Therapist will therefore have a B.A. Music Therapy degree.
A music school classroom teacher such as a Vocal Music teacher will contribute to existing music instructors at a school and an expert as vocal music instructor. Music Education at music school level has e very broad variety of teaching jobs available to music professionals, such as Music/Instrumental Teachers, Elementary school music instructors, Band instructors and more.
A Tenure-Track teaching position at a university will require an applicant to have a Doctorate in music and typical responsibilities includes, maintaining of studio, directing of band, and creation of activities, student advising and more. A Choral Studies Director at a university requires Doctorate in Music and sometimes a Master’s will be accepted. A graduate will be teaching and conducting chamber singers, large choirs and cappella group as part of daily duties. A Director of Symphonic at a university needs a Master’s degree in Music and duties will include teaching of courses in conducting as well as conducting the particular university’s choir. Preference is usually given for graduates in an active performing career.

Children’s Intellectual Development Improves with Music Education

Research has proved that children’s intellectual development improves significantly with music education. Non- music students received less academic awards and honours according to a study conducted by the National Education Longitudinal study in Washington D.C. A child’s abstract reasoning improves intelligence far better than computer training ever could accord neurological research.
Playing music and reading musical notes activate brain activity in the four cortex lobes as well as the cerebellum. It is not only excellent choice of parents to enroll a child in a music school for only the sake of art, but also enrich their lives and communities by developing highly intelligent and productive young people.
Music education provides a young adult with enthusiasm, creativity and an energy they need to be productive adults later in life. Some sorts of music education are often available to students inside a general education facility or specialized music schools. Music education is also available to elementary school children in after- school form or in the form of higher education.
This music education will involve music theory, music history, musicology, musicianship, conducting, musical composition, singing and performance of musical instruments. Music schools are available to children from ages 8 and older usually and typically admission to these schools requires a competitive audition. Usually in a typical music school less time will be spent on the academic side as students’ progress through the years and music development will increase instead.
A conservatory on the other hand may cover more subjects than the typical music school, which may concentrate on instrumentalists mainly and the other often cover dance, drama, music and performing arts. Adults should invest in children’s futures by getting them an audition at a music school if they show interest in the music industry or encourage them to perform a musical instrument if they show an inclination as young musicians are bred from an early age.

Different types of music schools

Preparatory School
Many countries have music schools and typically there are four different types and offers different types of education. A preparatory school offers training in different artistic endeavours such as dance, music performance or arts to elementary and high-school children. Students who excel may continue at post-secondary level as well as other professional education programs. Some music education are available to students who does not have a music school close to them, in the form of boarding preparatory schools and they educate in pre-professional training programs at college level. Three of these boarding schools in the United States are:
• Walnut Hill School
• Interlochen Centre for the Arts
• Idyllwild Arts Academy
Independent Conservatories
A very popular music school is a conservatory as they specialize in nothing other than put all their focus on music. Students aiming at a purely musical performance career and wish to exclude most academic requirements of other music schools and want a music education mainly prefer these conservatories as the academic requirements are usually supplemental. Some contemporary music conservatories include:
• McNally Smith College of Music in Minnesota
• New England Conservatory in Boston, MA
• The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York
• Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in Los Angeles, CA
• Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts
As part of a larger university
They are close to independent conservatories and some music schools incorporate into a large university and some of these are:
• Shenandoah University Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia
• University of Northh Texas College of Music in Denton
• The College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH
• Jacobs School of Music AT Indiana university in Bloomington, IN
• University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, MI
• Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA
Conservatory as part of a larger university
This type of music school resembles both an independent conservatory and a university music school and although it is attached to a specific university they may also function separately. Music conservatories often choose to be affiliated to the university as they can then offer a broader field of education to students as well as the main university students can receive conservatory music education. Some of these affiliated conservatories are:
• Peabody Institute – Johns Hopkins University affiliate
• Blair School of music – Vanderbilt University affiliate
• Mannes College – New School affiliate
• Bienen School of Music – North-western University affiliate

Digital Music

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The Church Tech Handbook (Dv Expert Series) by Anthony Coppedge (Mar 29, 2006)

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The Media Writer’s Guide: Writing for Business and Educational Programming by William Van Nostran (Dec 22, 1999)

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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting by George Colombo and Curtis Franklin (Oct 27, 2005)

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