I have a guest post today by my daughter that I'm really excited about. She works for the National Association of Music Education at their National Headquarters in Reston, Virginia and encounters music educators all over the country on just about a daily basis in her job. Her post illustrates the importance of parental involvement in our children's music education. I'll let her words speak for themselves.
Thanks for letting me contribute to this blog, Mom!
First, I'd like to begin by saying my Mom is the best Mom ever.
Now that we have established this as fact, I'd like to talk a little about the importance of the parental role in music education. I am a staff member of theNational Association for Music Education where I work on student performance programs, and help identify other organizations that support music education.
In addition to being a professional association for all music educators, we devote tons of time and resources (both financial and human) to advocating for the cause of music education. We believe that every student deserves a comprehensive education which includes music. We also believe teachers in the schools should be evaluated based on how well their students are doing in MUSIC. Not how well they performed on a standardized test. Being located in northern Virginia, we are able to meet with decision makers in Washington on a regular basis, and stay informed on the issues pertaining to education policy.
So why should you care about music education as a parent? What can you do?
Some who know me joke that I was destined to do SOMETHING with music based on my mother's aptitude in subject. I know I was exposed to all the great composers and musicians before I was even born - Bach, Beethoven, Mozart... and Billy Joel. But although some studies have suggested that musical talent may be genetic, there has to be more involvement. Some of my best childhood memories involves sitting on the dining room floor watching and listening to my Mom play piano. When she wasn't playing, she was listening to music at home. Day after day, year after year, music was all around me. When it came time for me to become involved in school music, it wasn't a question of "if" I would become involved, the question became, what instrument will I play? Once I ultimately settled on the oboe (which Mom insisted was the easiest instrument) it was easy to be successful because she always encouraged me. She never told me it sounded bad, or suggested I stop the "noise." She drove me to lessons, attended my concerts, and took an active role in my development as a musician.
You don't have to have a career in music, for music to have a positive affect on your life. It is a fact that music contributes to the development of crucial skills and qualities like teamwork, communication, and determination. With your guidance, love, and support of your child's musical endeavors, you are also helping to foster these qualities in them, just like my Mom did.
Thank you for reading! For more information and studies on the positive effects of music, please visit http://www.nafme.org/supportmusic_cases