Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Musically Gifted, Educationally Sound

Earlier this evening, I went to a recital hosted by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. The recital featured four talented young men, each with powerful and wondrous voices, and two of whom also played instruments.

Having played in the concert and marching band for several years in middle and high school, I fully appreciate the skill and practice that goes into preparing for a recital. When the National Endowment of the Arts are willing to put their stamp of approval on young talents, you should know you're in for a real treat.

Now, having previously discussed the important role of music - albeit in pop culture - I found it quite fitting that at this juncture I would find myself in the company of such gifted young musicians. It should go without saying that I am a big fan of music. Jazz, hip-hop, rock, symphony, you-name-it.

And this brings me to the oft-discussed notion that says learning about music can help a student perform better in school. I haven't read all the research and studies, but I'm in full agreement. Not simply because of the way certain musical scales and notes allow a student to better understand mathematics, or the way interpretations of song and poetry can enable a student to better grasp literature.

Instead, I think learning about music is simply a good way to connect to people. And by connecting to new people, one broadens his or her horizons.

At this particular event, just five blocks down the street from the White House and in the middle of a city filled with political aspirants, it was delighting to be in a room of musicians and the ensuing conversation about the role and impact of music in our lives.

It sure beats talking about politics everyday.

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