I support music education because it has played a vital role in my life. I
had very difficult behavioral challenges as a child. I was defiant. I was
expelled from three schools and was hospitalized three times because of mental,
emotional and behavioral challenges. I was diagnosed with depression, obsessive
compulsive disorder, and a behavior disorder.
At the end of tenth grade, my defiance was at its peak and contributed to
my third expulsion from school. Like a defiant child, I told my parents that I
was not going back to school unless they found a way for me to play the drums
more during the school day.
Weeks later, my mother discovered the Long Island High School for the
Arts. I was accepted and life changed for me completely. My grades went up, my
behavior improved, and I discovered my mission in life. This is how I reaped the
benefits of music education. I remember my adolescence as a time of
life-changing transformation. Today I am honored to mentor musically-minded
teens on the faculty at the Long Island High School for the Arts.
Now I am a professional drummer and I love my job. I am happy, healthy,
and I am in control of my own behavior. Instead of defiance, I've found positive
ways to express myself. Like everyone, I suffer from periodic stress. When I sit
behind my drums and play, I experience relief, emotional expression, and a
wonderful connection with other people.
Music education is extremely beneficial for children and adults. If you
type "benefits of music education" into a search engine you will discover tons
of research done on the positive effects music education has on people. The
best-known benefits of music education are improved SAT scores, literacy, and
One famous study was done by Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers,
The College Board, 1998. The researchers who conducted this study concluded that
students who participate in music score higher on the SAT. Another popular SAT
study showed that students who performed music scored 57 points higher on the
verbal and 41 points higher on the math, than those who were not musical.
Students who take music appreciation classes score 63 points higher on the
verbal and 44 points higher on the math, compared to students who don't
participate in the arts.
Although much of the research focuses on children, there are many benefits
of music education for adults. According to a study done by the American Music
Conference in1998, retired adults who took keyboard classes reported decreased
anxiety, decreased depression, and decreased loneliness when compared to a
control group. I believe that music education is just as important for adults as
it is for children.
As a proud supporter of the
Music Foundation (formerly the Guitar Center Music Foundation), I encourage
you to support music education. You can do this through becoming an advocate or
making a donation. When you purchase anything through my website, a portion of
your purchase will be donated to the Fender Music Foundation. Music education
has improved my life a great deal, and I hope you will join me in supporting it.
Please make learning music a part of your life.