I had the good fortune of working with the Mandan High School jazz ensemble (Mandan, North Dakota) this past weekend as part of their year ending jazz opus concert. This was my second opportunity to work with this exceptional program and both times it amazed me what a remarkable group of kids this program has produced. The program is lead by a very talented and inspired music educator named John Warren. This was John’s final concert, capping off an extraordinary 35 year career as a music educator.
On the flight back to New York, I began to reflect on how lucky I am to work with so many fine music programs every year. While I strive to provide some level of knowledge and inspiration to all the students I work with, it is actually the students themselves that impart wisdom and exhilaration to all that we do as educators.
As the flight went along, I kept coming back to the same thought. Music education is paramount! To me, it’s the lifeblood of a well rounded and insightful education. The number of studies supporting the role music has in a successful educational experience are too numerous to mention, but of course we must. Music students simply outperform non-music students in all facets of education, academic and otherwise.
Look at the joy on these young people’s faces. It comes from being a part of something special, something energizing and something fun. Music is all of that and then some. Support music education in your schools and give young people everywhere the opportunity to grow and find their passion through music.