Sunday, August 24, 2014

Leading the Cause for Music Education

The Opus Project is a community based music program for at-risk youth in San Diego County. It was designed as a free after-school instrumental music program to demonstrate the positive affects that learning and performing music has on students, engage parents and teachers, build community support for music education, and advocate for its return to schools. The program began with 65 third-graders at two schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, which had cut its music program many years earlier. SDYS’ strategy worked! After less than three years of the program, the District was convinced of music’s tremendous value and committed to returning its in-school music education program for all of its students. Today, more than 3,000 students are learning music as part of their regular curriculum. The District’s goal is to return music to all students by 2025.
"According to Dalouge Smith, president and CEO of the San Diego Youth Symphony, not only have principals at Community Opus participating schools reported a decline in classroom disruptions and improved motivation, behavior, and attendance among students studying instruments, but these students also performed significantly better on fourth grade math and reading proficiency tests than students not receiving music instruction".
-- read "Using Music to Close the Academic Gap" by Lori Miller Kase

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