Thursday, November 15, 2007

Music Makes You Smarter, Part 357

Evidently, I picked a good time to write yesterday's post, since, just a few hours later, someone sent a link to this story:
Those hours practicing piano scales or singing with a choral group weren't for nothing because people with a background in music tend to have a higher education and earn more, according to a new survey.

The poll by Harris Interactive, an independent research company, showed that 88 percent of people with a post-graduate education were involved in music while in school, and 83 percent of people earning $150,000 or more had a music education.

"Part of it is the discipline itself in learning music, it's a rigorous discipline, and in an ensemble situation, there's a great deal of working with others. Those types of skills stand you well in careers later in life," said John Mahlmann, of the National Association for Music Education in Reston, Virginia, which assisted in the survey.
And yes, you may feel free to remind me that I'm no fan of polls, but this one isn't telling us anything that we don't already know; it's just nice for stories like this to get attention. Music helps with other disciplines, and we have to continually remind those who control the purse strings of that fact. (Most interesting quote of the linked story: "Students who found music to be extremely or very influential to their fulfillment were those who had vocal lessons and who played in a garage band." What--no horn players? Although it's certainly possible to rehearse a jazz band in the garage...)

And in the same batch of email was a link to a great story: Overfunded Public School Forced to Add Jazz Band:
MANALAPAN, NJ—Benjamin Harrison Middle School faculty members regretfully announced Tuesday that, despite their best efforts to prevent it, the school simply had too much state and federal funding to avoid adding a jazz ensemble to its music program.

"We did not want it to come to this," principal David DeCarlo said after introducing students to Mr. Metheny, an award-winning jazz guitarist and the new school music teacher. "The children are the ones who are going to suffer. Especially little Sammy Orlovsky, who will have to play those drums where instead of using drumsticks you tap the cymbals with tiny brushes."

The school plans to use its remaining $22.1 million budget to add a sculpture wing to the art department, triple janitors' salaries, and purchase a second computer.
I've been surprised to find out how many of my friends didn't know that The Onion is a fake news site; still, wouldn't it be great if stories like that were true?

Neither rain, nor snow....nor bullets? A Chicago-area man, upset that he was getting his mail too late, went postal on his letter carrier. (Seeing as how the postal worker was shot in the thigh, it would have been amusing if the shooter's name was Jack Bauer.)

Does the punishment fit the crime? (Overseas edition): A man in India atoned for the crime of stoning two dogs to death by marrying another dog (nope, not a typo).

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