September 19, 2011
More Music

Music Programs Improving Grades

Why one Tennessee school chose to keep music around in the midst of budget cuts.

Shelby: Music can make you better at math and reading, it can improve your creativity and concentration, and it can even help you boost your SAT scores. At least that is what a number of studies have shown.

David Overstreet: It’s been a great experience for me, and I can say I’ve learned a lot more than before I came.

Shelby: David Overstreet attends the Nashville School of the Arts in Tennessee, where more than two dozen music classes are offered to students each year.

His school has a 97% graduation rate, and this year’s graduates received a total of $3.5 million in scholarships. These statistics, educators say, are proof that studying music can help boost a student’s academic performance across the board.

“Those of us in the music industry have been advocating and supporting music education for decades.”

Shelby: Music can make you better at school. And that is why schools in Nashville are turning to a new initiative called Music Makes Us.

The program will give students in Nashville greater access to music opportunities. They will still have marching band and glee club, but starting next year, they will also be able to sign up for things like rock ‘n’ roll band, bluegrass and hip-hop performances, or even a course in dj remixing.

New classes in songwriting, like this one at NSA and technology based production and recording are all part of the new plan. And it includes a new office of music with a full-time director to oversee it all.

“I want to thank Dr. Register and our school board for their commitment to music education and recognizing the overall critical role it plays in academic education of students.”

Shelby: At a time when other districts are cutting back on music or cutting it out altogether, students in the Music City will have more chances to play an instrument, join a choir, or perform in a musical.

Across the country, school budgets have been slashed in the past few years. In some cases, funding has been cut by as much as 20%. Some say that with so many budget cuts, schools need to cut back on things like music in order to focus on core subjects. But others argue that cutting music could end up hurting students academically.

“Music programs engage students who might otherwise lose interest, a band or a singing group can give students a good peer group, an adult supervision, a great place to bond in the school.”

Shelby: Back at the Nashville School of the Arts, David says he is an example of how studying music can pay off in other areas.

David: Music makes us aim to expand those opportunities to every other student in town.

Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.


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