Music Literacy in America
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Greetings fellow music lovers!
The paucity of music literacy among our fellow Americans is a source of great concern for me. I have decided to devote a portion of the rest of my professional musical life to the restoration of music literacy in this country. Wish me luck; I’ll need it.
You’re not going to find a stronger advocate for music in public and private schools than I. In fact, my school district in Ohio shaped my career path. I believe that, without the creative part of the brain being stimulated, the fact-based part (math, science, etc.) will likely not do as well. A great many successful scientists, mathematicians, physicians, etc., are also musicians. Witness Albert Einstein (violinist). Witness Boston’s Longwood Orchestra which is made up of physicians. I could go on for pages and pages listing other luminaries. My high school, Cleveland Heights High School (OH) was truly amazing. (I am 52 so we are talking about the mid 1970s here.) It had a ton of kids in it and a great many of them were in the performing arts. We had music lessons, a classical choir of which I was a member, a pops choir, an orchestra, theater productions, operetta productions, dancing… it was just incredible. Many of us still stay in touch to this day no matter where we are in the country thanks to the Internet, and many of us went on to have successful careers both inside and outside of the music business. One person became a US congressman, another became a mayor. I could go on and on about other successful friends I have who had music-related experiences which, directly or indirectly, had an impact on their success. Please see the study made by Chorus America (CA_MakingtheCase_AdvocacyGuide_2011.pdf) regarding the positive effect that choral singing has on the academic and social skills of school children. I consider this essential reading for any school board member anywhere in America.
Thank you for your time and attention.