Last November, the Journal of Research in Music Education released a new study with strong findings that music strengthens math/reading skills. Co-authored by University of Kansas School of Music professor Martin J. Bergee and Kevin Weingarten (Visiting Professor in Music Education at the University of Washington), the study adds to the growing body of scientific research showing links between music, math and reading.
The Study Doesn’t Mince Words for School Boards
For school boards that have cut music programs (or are considering it), the study makes clear the implications of what they have done (or may be about to do). In direct one-to-one language, the study says, “If your goal is to educate the person—to develop the person’s mind—then you need to educate the whole person. In other words, learning may not be as modular as it is often thought to be.”
In even more direct language that cuts right to the heart of why school boards put music programs on the chopping block, the study adds, “If you want a young person’s—or any person’s—mind to develop, then you need to develop it in all ways it can be developed. You can’t sacrifice some modes of learning to other modes of learning for whatever reason, be it financial or otherwise.”
Trouble Is, School Boards Are Strapped for Cash
Despite the study’s strong words and findings that music strengthens math/reading skills, lost school music programs may not return any time soon.
When the Ontario government released its 2020 Ontario Budget, for example, Ontario school boards—already cash-strapped by government funding cuts to schools—only saw more lean times ahead. According to economist Ricardo Tranjan in a Nov. 13, 2020 interview with School Magazine, the 2020 budget effectively put a “practical freeze” on school board funding that will likely continue for the next couple of years.
In other words, while music educators continue to argue the importance of returning music programs to schools, the argument appears destined to remain just an argument for the foreseeable future.
How Private Music Instructors Can Help
To make up for lost gigs during the pandemic, many musicians began offering online music lessons. Many music teachers already established before the pandemic pivoted the same way. While they may not have done so knowing that music strengthens math/reading skills, they nonetheless did serve to support the holistic education of young and older minds alike, and this is where musicians can help schools (and the world) going forward.
In an April 2020 article for The Financial Times, novelist Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things) wrote, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”
Said another way: One day, the pandemic will end. Yet opportunity will not. Specifically, the opportunity for music instructors to continue teaching students in the full knowledge that they are doing vital work, not simply in that music strengthens math/reading skills but in the fuller reality that music helps nurture, enrich, and ensure the kind of better future we all fundamentally seek.
To this end, we’d like to take a moment to remind people that Royal City Studios’ rehearsal studios are more than private spaces for artists to prepare for gigs and/or recording sessions. They’re simply spaces, meaning they are open and available to music teachers who do not have their own space for teaching.
Under current COVID restrictions, our large rehearsal studios (fully equipped with drums, amps, and PA equipment) can accommodate up to 3 people max.
Price – Adults: Just $9.99 per hour per person ($4.99 per person for students)
No up-front payment required. No cost for cancellation.
Need something larger? Our music hall can accommodate up to 10 people max—also just $9.99 per hour per person.
If we meet your needs, click here to book online.
You can also email us at email@example.com or call (226) 314-2177.
We are currently open through provisions under Ontario Regulation 82/20, meaning we are currently operating under COVID-19 protocols to ensure not only your safety but also that local artists have rehearsal and recording facilities when the pandemic is done, or when regional health measures return to Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework.
If you’re in the planning stages of music instruction
We get that not many people are comfortable moving around right now because of the pandemic, and we’re certainly not encouraging you to compromise what feels safe to you right now. We would like to remind you, though, that you can pre-book rehearsal studio space online as part of your planning for when restrictions lift and you do feel comfortable. We do anticipate that our spaces will fill up when people are more at ease moving around, so we encourage you to pre-book your space today.
There’s no cost to cancel a reserved studio if you change your mind.
Not a music instructor? Know someone who is and in need of teaching space? Please forward this on to them. They’ll appreciate your help.
Questions? Concerns? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.