Dave Mastran, Co-creator & Executive Producer of Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music & QuaverMusic.com, is back again with another edition of Music Matters – your chance to peek behind the curtain at our methodology and mission.
Take it away, Dave . . .
The Magic of Music
Music distinguishes mankind from all the other animals. We engage with music more than any other species! Why is music so special? Why is it so pervasive throughout our human history? There are lots of reasons.
Every culture on every continent has its music.
From Latin Music – Salsa, Rumba, Merengue; to Japanese – Taiko Drumming; to Native American – flute and drums; to Irish folk songs; to German drinking songs to Greek and Russian dances to African percussion to every place you can imagine. Every part of the world has its rhythms, scales, melodies, and songs.
Every historical era also has its music.
The Greek chorus goes way back in time. Homeric epics were chanted by bards with four string musical instruments. King David of Israel sang psalms playing the lyre. Medieval monks chanted prayers to music. There are historical eras in music for the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Impressionist, Post Impressionist, and Modern periods. Everyone has heard of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Even today we have Pop, Rap, Jazz, Heavy Metal, Rock, Blues, Disco, Cajun, Latin, Folk, Country, Reggae, and many more musical styles. Some of our most famous celebrities are songwriters, singers, and musicians.
Why is this so?
Music is said to be the sound of our feelings. But music is much more.
Music plays a significant role not only in our emotional expression and development, but also in our spiritual, intellectual, and even our physical development.
In terms of emotional development, music puts us in touch with our feelings. Whether the feelings are of love, excitement, triumph, awe, sorrow, tension, humor, anticipation, fear, patriotism, or some other emotion, music moves us.
Music also gives us spiritual depth. From the monasteries in the central Europe and Negro spirituals in the cotton fields long ago, to hymns today in churches and our holiday songs, music has carried us to richer lives. Music provides hope in song form.
Music also helps us develop intellectually. Instead of being the first subject dropped in schools with tight budgets, music should be the very last. Music encourages strong cross-curricular connections with math, science, English, history, culture, geography, and even physical education.
- Math – Music reinforces mathematics in such basic skills as counting, understanding of abstract symbols, and even in advanced mathematics in Fourier Transforms. Music even teaches set theory.
- Science – Music reinforces science in understanding the nature of sound waves, the creation of sound, amplification, anatomy, and even more.
- English – Lyrics in music are poetry in melody form. We learn to express ourselves better in song.
- History – Music reinforces history in understanding the lives of the great composers and their historic eras. The history of musical instruments is also a fascinating study, culminating in the electronic music we hear today.
- Culture/Geography – As mentioned, music exists in every culture in every part of the world, we can learn about other peoples by studying their musical heritage.
- Social Skills – Playing in groups, singing in choirs, marching in bands all develop our skills in working with other people.
- Physical Education – Movement to rhythms and dance provides physical exercise to students. Music propels movement.
Interestingly, music also carries special significance to Special Needs Students. Autistic children respond to music when they respond to nothing else. Even hearing impaired children respond to music. And to the visually impaired, music is especially important.
Music is basic to mankind.
It exists everywhere in our society in movies, television, radio, the Internet, commercials, and everywhere we live. In sum, music helps define who we are and is basic to our nature.
Music is truly magic.
Thanks Dave! It’s easy to see why we get so excited about helping teachers bring music to life for their students!