Why Music Education?

Texas Music Project

Bruce Orr, Founder
Social Marketing Resource Center
Co-founder Texas Music Project

"Don't Mess with Texas Music™" --- that's both the title of this CD and the campaign recently launched in support of Texas music and music education in Texas schools. It's almost impossible to imagine living anywhere else but Texas, and the music we can listen to all over the state is one big reason why. But music is not only a cultural asset and a huge economic driver for the State. When offered as a full-time curriculum, music provides our children with the opportunity to be all they can be-regardless of the career path they choose. The urgency with which the Social Marketing Resource Center and our supporters have taken action is a function of the deterioration of music education across the country, the financial crisis faced by many Texas schools, and the pleas of many communities and educators we have spoken with in the last year. This urgency is felt despite the fact that music education in Texas schools has fared relatively well overall due to the presence of committed organizations such as the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education, the Texas Commission for the Arts, and others. Our long-term initiative is just beginning, and we urge you to join us in supporting music education in our schools, enabling Texas children to grow from all of its many benefits, and helping our communities become better places to live, work and play. Enjoy the music. Learn from it.

Texas Music Educators Association

Why Music Education?

Robert Floyd, TMP Board Member
Executive Director, Texas Music Educators Association
Chair, Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education

Music is an integral part of our environment in that our personal, social, economic, and cultural surroundings are shaped by music and the arts. Music enables students to develop the attitudes, characteristics, and intellectual capacities required to participate effectively in today's society and economy. Music education teaches self-discipline, reinforces self-esteem, and fosters thinking skills and creativity.

Music education contributes to the process of teaching and learning and can be helpful in teaching other academic disciplines. Music can connect segments of the curriculum that are fundamentally compartmentalized. Music can transform the entire culture of a school and can create productive partnerships between the school and community. The ever-changing society makes music and the arts the most powerful tool to bridge cultural differences, and they are essential to an educational system that values diversity.

Music education helps develop the necessary skills required to be successful in the world of work. For example, thinking creatively and analytically, solving problems, and envisioning are strongly incorporated into a music experience. Music often utilizes complex technologies and builds capacities for teamwork and skills for leadership. Music education contributes to the nation's need for creative, skillful workers and for innovative leaders.

All students should have access to a deep and rich education in music and the arts, regardless of their background, talents, or disabilities. Music can be a powerful and sometimes the best vehicle for reaching, motivating, and teaching any given student. Absolutely nothing reaches the human spirit, no matter in what country or society, like the power of music. Music must continue to be an integral part of a program of general education for all students in Texas.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Ric Hernandez, Executive Director, Texas Commission on the Arts

At the Texas Commission on the Arts, we are constantly seeking new and creative ways to achieve our mission. The Texas Music Project provides TCA with a long-term opportunity to work with private sector partners towards the shared goal of improving arts education, especially in the area of music, for school children throughout the state.

We know the arts are a key component of our educational system. Students involved in the arts score higher on standardized tests, are less likely to drop out of school, and are more likely to continue on to college than students not in involved in the arts. When a school includes the arts in its curriculum, its students experience improvement in reading, writing, and math scores. Students who receive music instruction have significantly higher reading scores than those who do not receive the instruction. Preschoolers given music keyboard lessons demonstrate improved spatial-temporal reasoning, important in subjects such as mathematics and science. Several studies have demonstrated a high level of involvement in instrumental music is co-related to high achievement in math proficiency.

Proceeds from the Texas Music Project will be distributed by the Texas Commission on the Arts to fund music education programs in Texas schools. The flexibility of the program enables funds to be distributed to specific music education needs as directed by donors, or made available to local schools though the Texas Cultural Endowment Fund. The first true arts endowment in the nation, the Texas Cultural Endowment Fund was established to provide a stable source of funding and ensure the future of the arts in Texas.

The arts and culture of Texas are a treasure that must be preserved and enhanced for future generations. TCA is proud to be a partner in this great endeavor to promote and preserve Texas' musical legacy.