A key part to the empowerment of a community is education. As an Interdisciplinary Studies student, I am always trying to identify and study the ways that performing arts (music, theatre, and dance) can be used to empower communities. Throughout my experience, I have often heard that music helps us learn, but I never knew how. So I got to wondering, how does music help students learn? Does this mean that there is a link between music education/integration and empowerment of our communities?
So, this was the beginning of my Research Article and Applied Project for my Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone Course.
For my research article, I started by asking two questions:
- 1) Does music help us learn?
- 2) Is music important in our schools and communities?
- Although these were my initial questions, as I began researching and talking about music with others, it became clear that music integration is important for so many reasons- educational and more. However, there are many barriers to communities having access to music.
- For my applied project, I decided to take these questions to where I knew I could find answers- musicians, music educators, music-lovers of all kinds! So, I created a video of research, personal stories, and interviews discussing the importance of music in our schools and communities. I could tell you all about it, but honestly, I’ll let my interviewees speak for themselves!
SPOILER ALERT: The answer is yes, research suggests that music does have educational benefits. However, there are also many other benefits to having music in our schools and communities including physical benefits, emotional benefits, developmental benefits, and more. The bottom line is that music is important in our schools and communities. So, if you’re inspired, want to learn more, or want to figure out how to get involved in supporting music, check out the links posted above!
Overall, I am very grateful that my final projects as an undergraduate, Interdisciplinary Studies student have given me so much information that I will be able to take with me into the rest of my career. I have truly been inspired to continue learning about the importance of music in the lives of others, and now when someone says “music helps us learn,” I will definitely be able to wholeheartedly agree!