Gerald Ricke, Director of Bands
address: 18725 Bates Avenue, Eustis, FL 32736
phone: 352-357-6220

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Steel Drum Ensembles of both Seminole Springs Elementary School and Eustis Middle Schools will be performing with the University of Florida Steel Drum Band

On November 19th, the Steel Drum Ensembles of both Seminole Springs Elementary School and Eustis Middle School, under the Direction of Ed Anderson and Gerry Ricke,  will be performing with the University of Florida Steel Drum Band on their Winter Concert at the University of Florida.  The Concert will be held at the University Concert  Hall on the Campus of UF, MUB 701, at 7:30 p.m.   We would like to invite you to join us for this experience.  We are looking forward to bringing the excellence of Lake County Music to the University of Florida and getting the opportunity to see a performance by the Sunshine State Steelers.

Why would a student want to participate in The Steel Drum Ensemble at The Eustis Middle School? It does require extra practice times. The children practice before and after school on certain days of the week. This practice takes time out of the lives of the children who participate. It is the benefits the entire community. For a campus map please go to or call (352) 392-3261.

Playing Steel Drums have many positive benefits for children, including enhanced academic performance, social skills, mental and emotional health.
The hands-on interaction the children get with drums and percussion instruments is something they’ll never forget and it can only broaden their awareness of other cultures in the world.
Studies have shown that drumming:
  • Improves your child’s overall scholastic performance.
  • Shows that children actively engaged in an arts education are likely to have higher academic test scores.
  • Develops skills needed by the 21st century workforce: critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, teamwork and more.
  • Teaches children to be more tolerant and open.
  • Allow your child to express themselves creatively and bolster their self-confidence.
  • Keep students engaged in school and less likely to drop out.

    If you are interested in sponoring or funding either elementary or middle school programs or need more information on the concert please contact Cherrice Purvee

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Auction Benefit For Christian Maas - A Former Mustang Who Needs Support!

Christian, a 21 year old Eustis High School graduate of 2010, with a zero alcohol level lost control on a small back road at 25 miles an hour and hit a plank fence at an unusual angle causing many of the wooden planks to go through the windshield. One penetrated his right skull causing brain trauma & another one impacted his left arm breaking it and his left face breaking facial bones, rupturing his eye, and bruising the left side of his brain. Christian was in a coma from this Fathers day accident until a few weeks ago.

Flyer For Auction Benefit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Most recent calendar September and October

Music Mentors (MM) High school students mentoring MS Students
EMS Band Room
3-4:00pm. Have ride here at 4p!
16)Weekly Steel Band Rehearsals Begin 8:00 am
All State Band Auditions
Middle School, 8am-1pm
4) Beginner Assessment Trial period
7 week evaluation sent home with beginners.
10) Maestro fund raiser Delivery
Large items or numerous orders must go home from CAR
RIDERS. Items are frozen and MUST be picked up this day!!!!
11) MS Marching Band Night @ Eustis High

9&23) Music Mentors
EMS Band Room 3
4:00pm. Have rides here at 4p!
14) EMMA 6:00 pm EMS Room
14) Steel Drum Rehearsal w/Mr. Anderson
Pick up
PROMPTLY at 6:00pm
OCTOBER 16 United In Praise Concert. Please see blog page for time and location. This is an optional attendance.
18) Band shirt order
order forms and $ are due today to have shirt for
the winter
18) Last Day of Music Trial Period
►22)Jazz Performance at United in Praise Concert
- Lake Sumter State College

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You can adopt The Mustangs by using a non profit organization called Adopt-A-Class!

 ADOPT Mr. Gerald Ricke's  CLASSROOM

By clicking the above link

by clicking the link above you can adopt The Mustangs by using a non profit organization called Adopt-A-Class!

Each year a teacher spends about $1200 out of their own pocket keeping a classroom up to date.
The Twelve Benefits of Music Education In Schools Are

1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.

2. There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.

3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.

4. Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.

5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a "me first" attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.

6. Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student's own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.

7. In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.

8. Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.

9. Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with his core, with what he is and what he feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.

10. Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on "doing," as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.

11. Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential. Music contributes to mental health and can help prevent risky behavior such as teenage drug abuse.

12. An arts education exposes children to the incomparable.

Monday, September 16, 2013

United In Praise Concert. Oct. 15, 2013. Please share.

Here is one of The Mustangs largest sponsors this year. We can not wait to be at the concerts and hear this choir sing. These are free concerts and there are some in most of the cities around here in October and November. If you live out near this concert, please do not miss it. This is a non-denominational choir who supports the band by taking donations. Those donations are then donated to the causes that United In Praise has chosen for that concert season. We ask any band family to come out and represent the band. Plus, we all need a few moments taken out of our lives and peace and harmony put back into that empty spot! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The seven components to The MCSC Program

The Eustis Middle School band averages about 150 total students. Our students are positive role models in the school and in the community, and we are working to develop a program called The Mustangs Caring for School Community (MCSC). The program is designed to create a caring school environment characterized by kind and supportive relationships and collaboration among students from the Mustang Band, staff, and parents. The MCSC model is consistent with research-based practices for increasing student achievement as well as the theoretical and empirical literature supporting the benefits of a caring classroom community in meeting students' needs for emotional and physical safety, supportive relationships, autonomy, and sense of competence.

By creating a caring school community, our program seeks to promote pro-social values, increase academic motivation and achievement, and prevent drug use, violence, and delinquency. MCSC has seven components designed to be implemented over the course of the school year:

  1. Meeting the community:  Throughout the year the Eustis Mustang Middle School Band competes in many fairs, festivals and shows. After each performance the members of the band participate with other students in a question and answer session. During this time our students explain all the benefits they receive during their time with the band program. The members of the band each explain how the band has helped them become better students, friends, and how the confidence gained through the music program helps them to become better human beings.
  2. Class Meeting Lessons:  This provides students in the Mustang Band with a forum to spend time with local elementary school students in a classroom climate. During the time spent in the classroom our students will share their experiences and explain why the time they spend with the band is not only good for social awareness but more importantly, how being involved with the arts can improve test results. Our students want to show the younger elementary students that learning notation when reading music equates to reading and understanding fractions. Often times, mastering the use of fractions is a problem for students of mathematics. Understanding and having familiarity with using fractions is one of the keys to understanding and being able to do higher mathematics. Understanding how to use and manipulate fractions is a consistent problem for English Language Learners, so learning music and musical notation as a tool has been proven to raise levels of mathematical comprehension.      
  3. Community Outreach:  Community Outreach is an important tool that the members of The Mustang Band currently use and will continue to build upon. During the school year the Eustis Middle School Mustang Band plays music around our community many times, including at local street festivals, holiday parades and nearby elementary schools. But, we want to take our Community Outreach a step further. Our Community Outreach Program will reach the children who are not always exposed to the fact that children at 10, 12, and 14 years of age can actually learn to play an instrument. We want to reach those children who did not know they had the option to join the band, despite financial constraints. Our program will bring our Jazz Band and our Steel Drum Band to a community day camp or after school program twice per year. During this event the members of the band will reach out to children who are underprivileged and live in disadvantaged settings, letting them know about our instrument donation program. These children are not aware that, thanks to fund-raising efforts, they could also join the band due to the fact that entry fees, instruments and uniforms because the entry fees and uniforms can in fact be donated for their use. Many of these children need something inspirational and fulfilling in their lives, and without our help, many of these children may never know that they too could play a steel drum or saxophone.   
  4. Real World Experience: Once per year we will invite the thirty most needy students from the elementary schools in our jurisdiction based upon grades or poor attendance to our School. We will invite them to a free event hosted by the Mustang Band in the band room where the students will get a chance to see in person the Eustis Mustang Steel Drum Band and The Eustis Mustang Jazz Ensemble.  After the concert the students from the surrounding schools will be able to interact with the instruments, the band members and the director. The students will be able to ask questions, and our hope is that the experience will lead to these students wanting to participate and learn an instrument, thereby improving on both their attendance and grades. After this event the booster committee will talk about the possibility that these children can try something fun and interesting and make a commitment to the band. The committee will then distribute information to the children about our instrument donation program, which these students would not have known about, but for having participated in this Real World Experience. Given the statistics for our community above, we feel that this portion of our program will contribute the most to the students in our community. It has been shown that children exposed to a long term music education program are 85 percent more likely to come to school each day, and learning becomes easier for those students.  
  5. Giving Back:  We are lucky enough to have some of the best role models right here in our band program. The MCSC Program would like to give back to our community by holding three food drives per year. We will schedule these food drives right before our school breaks, by putting bins in the front office, band room And The First Baptist Church in Eustis. The students of The Advanced Band will be involved in the organization, collection and delivery of the collected food. The students will also donate clothing throughout the year to local shelters.
  6. Music Mentors: Music Mentors is a program shared by Eustis High School and the Eustis Middle School Bands. Directors Mr. Ricke of the Eustis Mustangs and Mr. Flenner of The Eustis Panthers created this program to ensure quality music education and performance through mentor-ship. The desire to develop a greater appreciation for the art of music and by giving the next generation an opportunity to receive the best training possible in music education by their peers. Through strategic partnerships, music awareness, and quality teaching, these bands are in the process of building a music program worthy of national and international recognition. Music Mentors is a Bi-weekly program. Any middle school student can sign up, he or she lists what they want or need for example: assistance with the all-state audition, jazz music etc.
  7. The Music Mentor Program is meant to help those who want to advance at a faster rate.
  8. The Music Mentor Program provides a transition into the high school program
  9. It is a fun way to learn from your older piers.
  10. It give the middle school students a chance to get together with piers that play the same instrument as they play in a personal setting.
  11. One on One setting with a “big brother/sister ” environment.
  12. Recruits students into the high school band.
  13. The high school students come early and sit in with the middle school students during their band classes.
7. Mustang/Panther Connection: Statistics prove that younger students who are active in a long term music program become better college students. We are therefore implementing The EMMA Award!  A $250.00-500.00 scholarship that will be presented to a student graduating Eustis High School with a GPA of 3.5 or above and who has been an active participant in the Mustang/Panther band program, grades 6th through 12th. This will be presented by the Eustis Mustang Music Association, bringing full circle our commitment to give back to the community through our MSCS program. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You must register to become a volunteer.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa

Level I Volunteers
FDLE background clearance required.
Duties assigned within the presence of a LCS employee such as, but not limited to, chaperoning daytime group field trips, helper in a classroom or at the school site, helper in a department.

Level II Volunteers
Fingerprinting is required to conduct a State and National background clearance.
Duties assigned outside the immediate presence of a LCS employee such as, but not limited to, chaperoning overnight field trips, mentoring, and volunteer coaches. Level II volunteers will be notified via email if fingerprint registration is necessary.

1. Go to the website
2. Click towards the bottom NEW ONLINE VOLUNTEER APPLICATION
3. Than you will create a new account using a user name and password that is protected.
4. You will fill out this application. Submit any documents needed. This is easier than it sounds.
For example if it asks you for a copy of your driving license. You can wither snap a picture with your phone and send it to your computer or scan it into your computer. *Hint name your document what it is. So if it is your license name it license if it is proof of residency, name it proof of res.

5. Then you wait about a week or two. 
6. Call Mre. Newman in the schools front office. She will tell you if you have cleared and if it is for level I or II status. 
7. If you have cleared for level I than you will complete the next steps.

  The Lake County School District requires fingerprint screening
according to State and Federal Guidelines. All Employees, Interns,
and Volunteers must be fingerprinted at the District Office or approved fingerprint site.

8. Got to the website
9. Click towards the bottom Click Here to Register for Fingerprinting
10. You will schedule an appointment in this area.
11. You go to your appointment. Which last about ten minutes. The school board fingerprints you digitally.  Nothing else. You walk in. Get fingerprinted and walk out.
12. Call Mrs. Newman in about two weeks and see if your Level I passed.

Volunteers are NOT required to pay a fee but must register online for fingerprinting.

Notice: Lake County Schools has changed the company that processes fingerprint registration. As of June 1, 2013, fingerprint registration must be completed through the new company’s website. The new company is Fieldprint.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Eustis Mustangs need a Band trailer to hold their new Steel Drums!

We do know The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
* Success in society
* Success in school
* Success in developing intelligence
* Success in life

OUTREACH . Our program has an unusual way of reaching the children that are not always easy to reach using traditional teaching methods. Our program has an award winning Steel Drum Ensemble.

The fact is the Mustang Band has over 10 percent of the student body as students.
Half of the student body here at the school qualifies for free lunch. So without saying our program is very important for a large amount of students. Over the summer the program improved The Steel Drum Ensemble by adding voices. Voices are what we call drums. By improving our Steel Drum Ensemble it ensures the band can make more students interested in joining bad. The more students that can participate is more students we can reach. * Students who participated in band reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse).

Our need is huge for a larger trailer to carry the entire band. prior to this summer the band equipment barely fit, the children load all the instruments themselves. They do a great job organizing everything into the compartments and straps. Regardless the fit is tight.  And that is with the children carrying their own instruments to the venues. Each year we are invited to more and more events. Each year more and more children participate in the band.  With the new drums the fit is impossible with our old trailer.

The need is to get the entire band to the various community events, contests and festivals. But the new sets of Steel Drums have made the new trailer a necessity.  We have researched and know that a trailer that will carry the band equipment around safely is $7,000. We feel any help with any amount towards that huge goal it would make our year! The trailer is a necessity for getting the band to all their community events, festivals and contests. There is no room in the budget since we are funded with less than 10 percent of our funds coming from the county. So The Music Association works hard to raise the funds for all the entry fees and various other needs. We know that a new trailer is going to be a hard thing to raise funds for. The students help by doing their own fundraisers but still it is out of reach.

Eustis will be proud to know that The Eustis High School Panther Band has brought Steel Drums to their long list of instrumental groups.

The fact is Eustis has so many great role models in their schools. Many are members of the arts programs that are provided. We notice that many of the Mustang students progress to the Eustis Panther Program. This is an excellent program with Mr. Flenner as director, statistics show that test scores will go up just by The Panthers having Steel Drums. Attendance rates will rise and that means more children staying in the music education program. Since children statistically learn easier if they play an instrument test scores will rise naturally.

We all have read in the papers that Lake County needs help in most of our schools with test scores. But most schools are not lucky enough to have such a great director like Mr. Gerald Ricke. Who has taken the last 20 years of his life to teach right here perfecting the program to what it is today. We feel one of the answers to this city's future is music education. Long term. From Elementary to High School and beyond.  

Please if you could consider a grant that would help us purchase a new/used band trailer in order for us to fit all of our instruments safely while traveling to all of the community events and contest we attend. We have researched the cost and know it to be about $7,000.00.

The giving does not stop. Once we are able to purchase a new trailer we will sell our old trailer and give 100 percent of the funds to The Eustis Panther Band for their new Steel Drum Program. It takes a community to take care of a community. With each Voice or Steel Drum costing over $1,000 we know they can use this donation. It is The Mustangs Way of giving back. And giving to the High School Band Program ensures our communities future. Other cities, counties and  states are raising their graduation rates to 94 percent. Just by adding a long term music program such as the one Eustis is so lucky to have.

There is also a long term payoff to having a band trailer. We sell ads throughout the year. Once a business purchases an ad on our band trailer it means one more student can attend band using our scholarship program. The more underprivileged children we can bring into the program the brighter our cities future will be.  That is why the trailer is also our traveling billboard. It goes with us to all events and follows us in all parades.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

According to CNN Health Music is good for the brain. At all ages.

(CNN) -- Whether you are rocking out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in your car or reading with Bach in your bedroom, music has a special ability to pump us up or calm us down.
Scientists are still trying to figure out what's going on in our brains when we listen to music and how it produces such potent effects on the psyche.
"We're using music to better understand brain function in general," said Daniel Levitin, a prominent psychologist who studies the neuroscience of music at McGill University in Montreal.
Three studies published this month explore how the brain responds to music. The quest to dissect exactly what chemical processes occur when we put our headphones on is far from over, but scientists have come across some clues.
Health benefits of music
Listening to music feels good, but can that translate into physiological benefit? Levitin and colleagues published a meta-analysis of 400 studies in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggesting the answer is yes.
In one study reviewed, researchers studied patients who were about to undergo surgery. Participants were randomly assigned to either listen to music or take anti-anxiety drugs. Scientists tracked patient's ratings of their own anxiety, as well as the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The results: The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs. Levitin cautioned that this is only one study, and more research needs to be done to confirm the results, but it points toward a powerful medicinal use for music.
"The promise here is that music is arguably less expensive than drugs, and it's easier on the body and it doesn't have side effects," Levitin said.
Levitin and colleagues also highlighted evidence that music is associated with immunoglobin A, an antibody linked to immunity, as well as higher counts of cells that fight germs and bacteria.
Making music sound 'better'
What music we like
So music is good for us, but how do we judge what music is pleasurable? A study published in the journal Science suggests that patterns of brain activity can indicate whether a person likes what he or she is hearing.
Valorie Salimpoor, a researcher at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and former Levitin student, led a study in which participants listened to 60 excerpts of music they had never heard before while in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine.
The 19 participants were asked to indicate how much money they would spend on a given song when listening to the excerpts, while also allowing researchers to analyze patterns of brain activity through the fMRI. Such a small number of participants is common in an fMRI study for reasons of complexity and cost, although it suggests more research should be done.
The study authors highlight in their results a brain area called the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in forming expectations.
"There is actually a network of activity that predicts whether or not you're going to buy this music as you're listening to the music," Salimpoor said.
The more activity in the nucleus accumbens, the more money people said they were willing to spend on any particular song in the "auction" set-up that the researchers designed.
"This was an indicator that some sort of reward-related expectations were met or surpassed," she said.
Another brain area called the superior temporal gyrus is intimately involved in the experience of music, and its connection to the nucleus accumbens is important, she said. The genres of music that a person listens to over a lifetime impact how the superior temporal gyrus is formed.
The superior temporal gyrus alone doesn't predict whether a person likes a given piece of music, but it's involved in storing templates from what you've heard before. For instance, a person who has heard a lot of jazz before is more likely to appreciate a given piece of jazz music than someone with a lot less experience.
"The brain kind of works like a music recommendation system," Salimpoor said.
Levitin called the findings "interesting," but views it as a refinement of what other laboratories have found in the past. He and Vinod Menon at Stanford University were the first to show the role of the nucleus accumbens in music in 2005.
Are we all hearing the same thing?
It seems intuitive that different people, based on their personalities, preferences and personal histories of listening to particular music, will have different experiences when exposed to a particular piece of music. Their attention to various details will vary and they might like different things about it.
But Levitin and his collaborators showed in a European Journal of Neuroscience study that, from the perspective of the brain, there may be more similarities among music listeners than you think.
"Despite our idiosyncrasies in listening, the brain experiences music in a very consistent fashion across subjects," said Daniel Abrams, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Seventeen participants who had little or no music training took part in this study which, like Salimpoor's, is small, but typical for an fMRI study. Participants listened to four symphonies by composer William Boyce of the late Baroque period, which the researchers chose because they reflect Western music but were likely to be unfamiliar to subjects.
Among participants, the researchers found synchronization in several key brain areas, and similar brain activity patterns in different people who listen to the same music. This suggests that the participants not only perceive the music the same way, but, despite whatever personal differences they brought to the table, there's a level on which they share a common experience.
Brain regions involved in movement, attention, planning and memory consistently showed activation when participants listened to music -- these are structures that don't have to do with auditory processing itself. This means that when we experience of music, a lot of other things are going on beyond merely processing sound, Abrams said.
One resulting theory is that these brain areas are involved in holding particular parts of a song, such as the melody, in the mind while the rest of the piece of music plays on, Abrams said.
The results also reflect the power of music to unite people, Levitin said.
"It's not our natural tendency to thrust ourselves into a crowd of 20,000 people, but for a Muse concert or a Radiohead concert we'll do it," Levitin said. "There's this unifying force that comes from the music, and we don't get that from other things."
Further research might compare how individuals with healthy brains differ in their musical listening compared to people with autism or other brain disorders, Abrams said.
"The methods that we've used can be applied to understand how the brain tracks auditory information over time," Abrams said.
What the brain draws from: Art and neuroscience
What's next
The next frontier in the neuroscience of music is to look more carefully at which chemicals in the brain are involved in music listening and performing, Levitin said, and in which parts of the brain are they active.
Any given neurochemical can have different function depending on its area of the brain, he said. For instance, dopamine helps increase attention in the frontal lobes, but in the limbic system it is associated with pleasure.
By using music as a window into the function of a healthy brain, researchers may gain insights into a slew of neurological and psychiatric problems, he said.
"Knowing better how the brain is organized, how it functions, what chemical messengers are working and how they're working -- that will allow us to formulate treatments for people with brain injury, or to combat diseases or disorders or even psychiatric problems," Levitin said.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why music programs in schools are so very important.

Here is an awesome video explaining why music programs in schools are so very important.

Here is a video explaining how we can use this knowledge for our community. 
The community of Lake County Florida! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Music Association Meeting This Monday

Music Association Meeting 

Monday at 6:00 pm

In the Band Room

The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
* Success in society
* Success in school
* Success in developing intelligence
* Success in life
When presented with the many and manifest benefits of music education, officials at all levels should universally support a full, balanced, sequential course of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. And every student will have an education in the arts.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:

The basic statement is unlikely to be challenged by anyone involved in education. In the sometimes harsh reality of limited time and funding for instruction, however, the inclusion of the arts in every student's education can sometimes be relegated to a distant wish rather than an exciting reality.
It doesn't have to be that way! All that's needed is a clear message sent to all those who must make the hard choices involved in running a school or school system, to chose new song books over new conference call services. The basic message is that music programs in the schools help our kids and communities in real and substantial ways. You can use the following facts about the benefits of music education, based on a growing body of convincing research, to move decision-makers to make the right choices.
The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:
* Success in society
* Success in school
* Success in developing intelligence
* Success in life
When presented with the many and manifest benefits of music education, officials at all levels should universally support a full, balanced, sequential course of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. And every student will have an education in the arts.

Benefit One: Success in Society

Perhaps the basic reason that every child must have an education in music is that music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music for each individual is widely recognized in the many cultures that make up American life &emdash; indeed, every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. The importance of music to our economy is without doubt. And the value of music in shaping individual abilities and character are attested in a number of places:
* Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse). Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998
* "Music is a magical gift we must nourish and cultivate in our children, especially now as scientific evidence proves that an education in the arts makes better math and science students, enhances spatial intelligence in newborns, and let's not forget that the arts are a compelling solution to teen violence, certainly not the cause of it!" Michael Greene, Recording Academy President and CEO at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, February 2000.
* The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects that college-bound middle and junior high school students should take, stating "Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students' understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children's intellectual development." In addition, one year of Visual and Performing Arts is recommended for college-bound high school students. Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education, 1997
* The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college. Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York
* The arts create jobs, increase the local tax base, boost tourism, spur growth in related businesses (hotels, restaurants, printing, etc.) and improve the overall quality of life for our cities and towns. On a national level, nonprofit arts institutions and organizations generate an estimated $37 billion in economic activity and return $3.4 billion in federal income taxes to the U.S. Treasury each year. American Arts Alliance Fact Sheet, October 1996
* The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. Grant Venerable, "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior," as reported in "The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools," The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989

Benefit Two: Success in School

Success in society, of course, is predicated on success in school. Any music teacher or parent of a music student can call to mind anecdotes about effectiveness of music study in helping children become better students. Skills learned through the discipline of music, these stories commonly point out, transfer to study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills useful in every part of the curriculum.

Another common variety of story emphasizes the way that the discipline of music study; particularly through participation in ensemble; helps students learn to work effectively in the school environment without resorting to violent or inappropriate behavior. And there are a number of hard facts that we can report about the ways that music study is correlated with success in school:
* "The term 'core academic subjects' means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography."
No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101 (11)
* A study of 237 second grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills. The group scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children that used only the math software.
Graziano, Amy, Matthew Peterson, and Gordon Shaw, "Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training." Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).
* In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12." This observation holds regardless of students' socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time.
Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga. "Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts." Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.
* Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation.
College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.
* According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as "disruptive" (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as "disruptive." Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992.
* Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non- participants receiving those grades.
NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC
* Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted.
As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994
* A study of 811 high school students indicated that the proportion of minority students with a music teacher role-model was significantly larger than for any other discipline. 36% of these students identified music teachers as their role models, as opposed to 28% English teachers, 11% elementary teachers, 7% physical education/sports teachers, 1% principals.
D.L. Hamann and L.M. Walker, "Music teachers as role models for African-American students," Journal of Research in Music Education, 41, 1993
* Students who participated in arts programs in selected elementary and middle schools in New York City showed significant increases in self-esteem and thinking skills.
National Arts Education Research Center, New York University, 1990

Benefit three: Success in Developing Intelligence

Success in school and in society depends on an array of abilities. Without joining the intense ongoing debate about the nature of intelligence as a basic ability, we can demonstrate that some measures of a child's intelligence are indeed increased with music instruction. Once again, this burgeoning range of data supports a long-established base of anecdotal knowledge to the effect that music education makes kids smarter. What is new and especially compelling, however, is a combination of tightly-controlled behavioral studies and groundbreaking neurological research that show how music study can actively contribute to brain development:
* In a study conducted by Dr. Timo Krings, pianists and non-musicians of the same age and sex were required to perform complex sequences of finger movements. Their brains were scanned using a technique called "functional magnetic resource imaging" (fMRI) which detects the activity levels of brain cells. The non-musicians were able to make the movements as correctly as the pianists, but less activity was detected in the pianists' brains. Thus, compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists are more efficient at making skilled movements. These findings show that musical training can enhance brain function. Weinberger, Norm. "The Impact of Arts on Learning." MuSICa Research Notes 7, no. 2 (Spring 2000). Reporting on Krings, Timo et al. "Cortical Activation Patterns during Complex Motor Tasks in Piano Players and Control Subjects. A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study." Neuroscience Letters 278, no. 3 (2000): 189-93.
* "The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling--training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression." Ratey John J., MD. A User's Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001
* A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, "Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial-temporal reasoning," Neurological Research, Vol. 19, February 1997
* Students in two Rhode Island elementary schools who were given an enriched, sequential, skill-building music program showed marked improvement in reading and math skills. Students in the enriched program who had started out behind the control group caught up to statistical equality in reading, and pulled ahead in math. Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey and Knowles, as reported in Nature, May 23, 1996
* Researchers at the University of Montreal used various brain imaging techniques to investigate brain activity during musical tasks and found that sight-reading musical scores and playing music both activate regions in all four of the cortex's lobes; and that parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks. Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B. (1992). Distributed neural network underlying musical sight reading and keyboard performance. Science, 257, 106-109.
* Researchers in Leipzig found that brain scans of musicians showed larger planum temporale (a brain region related to some reading skills) than those of non-musicians. They also found that the musicians had a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two halves of the brain) than those of non-musicians, especially for those who had begun their training before the age of seven. Schlaug, G., Jancke, L., Huang, Y., and Steinmetz, H. (1994). In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians. In I. Deliege (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3d international conference for music perception and cognition (pp. 417-418). Liege, Belgium.
* A University of California (Irvine) study showed that after eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning IQ. Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, "Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship," University of California, Irvine, 1994
* Researchers found that children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial- temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing, or no lessons. Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J., Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., and Newcomb, R. (1997) Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial temporal reasoning. Neurological Research, 19, 1-8.
* A McGill University study found that pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly for students given piano instruction over a three-year period. They also found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students given piano instruction. Costa-Giomi, E. (1998, April). The McGill Piano Project: Effects of three years of piano instruction on children's cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and self-esteem. Paper presented at the meeting of the Music Educators National Conference, Phoenix, AZ.
* Researchers found that lessons on songbells (a standard classroom instrument) led to significant improvement of spatial-temporal scores for three- and four-year-olds. Gromko, J.E., and Poorman, A.S. (1998) The effect of music training on preschooler's spatial-temporal task performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 46, 173-181.
* In the Kindergarten classes of the school district of Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin, children who were given music instruction scored 48 percent higher on spatial-temporal skill tests than those who did not receive music training. Rauscher, F.H., and Zupan, M.A. (1999). Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children's spatial-temporal performance: A field study. Manuscript in press, Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
* An Auburn University study found significant increases in overall self-concept of at-risk children participating in an arts program that included music, movement, dramatics and art, as measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. N.H. Barry, Project ARISE: Meeting the needs of disadvantaged students through the arts, Auburn University, 1992

Benefit four: Success in Life

Each of us wants our children and the children of all those around us to achieve success in school, success in employment, and success in the social structures through which we move. But we also want our children to experience "success" on a broader scale. Participation in music, often as not based on a grounding in music education during the formative school years, brings countless benefits to each individual throughout life. The benefits may be psychological or spiritual, and they may be physical as well:
* "Studying music encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits and that lead to effective study and work habits. An association of music and math has, in fact, long been noted. Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients. For all these reasons, it deserves strong support in our educational system, along with the other arts, the sciences, and athletics." Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Leading Heart Surgeon, Baylor College of Music.
* "Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it's important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity." Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting System.
* "Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life." Daniel A. Carp, Eastman Kodak Company Chairman and CEO.
* "Casals says music fills him with the wonder of life and the 'incredible marvel' of being a human. Ives says it expands his mind and challenges him to be a true individual. Bernstein says it is enriching and ennobling. To me, that sounds like a good cause for making music and the arts an integral part of every child's education. Studying music and the arts elevates children's education, expands students' horizons, and teaches them to appreciate the wonder of life." U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, July 1999.
* "The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century." "The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education." Business Week, October 1996.
* "Music making makes the elderly healthier.... There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and loneliness following keyboard lessons. These are factors that are critical in coping with stress, stimulating the immune system, and in improved health. Results also show significant increases in human growth hormones following the same group keyboard lessons. (Human growth hormone is implicated in aches and pains.)" Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999
* "Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." &emdash; Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
* "During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to 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." H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired
* "Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective." - Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America

Facts compiled by MENC Staff, Spring 2002. When using factual quotes from this brochure, please be sure to cite individual research source which follows each quote/fact. Other text copy in the brochure was authored by MENC Staff. When citing from these sections, please reference as: "Source: MENC&emdash;The National Association for Music Education "Benefits of Music Education" Brochure, Spring 2002".