From car salesman jingles to holiday tunes, from live performances to campfire songs, music is all around us. Several studies have shown the benefits of introducing music in classrooms. But you don’t want to hear it from us! Find out what real musicians think about music in education.
First, tell us a bit about who you are as a musician.
SCOTT: Not much to tell. I am a musician because that’s what I am. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I had a special ability in music. I was raised on popular music and classical music and every kind of music. The only type of music I don’t like is bad music.
NAYANA: My name is Nayana! I’m an 18 year old country singer and songwriter. I’m currently signed to an indie label out of Ottawa called Young, Wild and Free records. My debut single Pretty Good To Be Here is at radio now. I’ve been playing music my whole life and have hopes of pursuing it as a career.
What impact has music had on your life?
SCOTT: It has had an impact on the people around me. It is a difficult profession to make money in. And yet we value music so highly.
NAYANA: Playing music has given me amazing experiences and has allowed me to meet and connect with a whole bunch of people. It’s how I express myself and truly understand how I’m feeling. Music is something that is constantly around me. It gets me through the good days and bad.
What importance does music have in children’s education?
SCOTT: I think it has a great importance. Music should be explored critically as well as just learning an instrument. What makes music good? What are the elements of good music? Why is this music so valued?
NAYANA: I think music is really important in children’s education because it’s a good way for kids to express themselves, get creative and feel connected. Music is universal. Everyone can listen to it, make it, or dance to it.
What can students of any age learn from music?
SCOTT: To explore their own emotions, their own creativity, to understand our culture and other cultures.
NAYANA: I think students from any age can learn the benefits that music brings. It can really help people focus and concentrate in class, while studying or on tests. When someone hears music, it can increase the brain’s dopamine production, leaving students feeling happier.
What would you change in regards to music education in Ontario schools?
SCOTT: Music should be used not as an end, but as means to explore the creative process that exists in all of us to some degree. Simply learning an instrument is like learning a language and never using it. The key is to develop critical thinking in music as a language.
NAYANA: I would give students more encouragement and more freedom to explore their musical creativity. Giving students in middle school / high school the opportunity to try out different instruments before having to pick which one they play all semester would be beneficial. Also giving students more free time in music classes to discover the sound they really like and what they can do when they aren’t being judged or graded!
Scott Paterson is the creator of many DC Canada Education Publishing songs and music videos. Check out his work on our children’s collections, perfect for encouraging kids to move, learn, and grow. His critical perspective of music in education stems from decades of experience!
Nayana’s story is an inspiring one. This young up-and-coming country star has a lot to say about the effect music has had on her life. Listen to her single, Pretty Good To Be Here, on Spotify – or catch it on the radio! Stay tuned for more from Nayana.