Extracurricular Music Programs Boost Students

Go Lean Commentary

“Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic” – The 3 R’s of Education.

If only everybody learned these basic skills at the same level of competence.

The truth is, not everyone is as gifted as others. While some may display genius abilities with these literary and/or computational skills, others show genius qualifiers for art, dance, athleticism … and music!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean declares: “That’s OK”!

The book identifies that there are 8 different genius qualifiers and plots to include the contribution of all these participants in the quest to elevate Caribbean society. The 8 genius qualifiers are stated in the book (Page 27) as follows:

1. Linguistic
2. Logical-Mathematics
3. Musical, Sound, Rhythm
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic-Body Movement Control
5. Spatial – Shapes/Figures Aptitude
6. Interpersonal – Other People’s Feelings – Leadership
7. Intrapersonal and Naturalistic – Self-Awareness
8. Existential – Moral Intelligence

Some genius skills are innate, natural abilities; but some genius qualifiers have to be taught, learned and fostered. The same as everyone benefits from literary and computational skills – genius or not – the same can be said of music, sound and rhythm. Those who can make music can contribute greatly to society. But on the other hand, even those not enabled with great musical abilities can become appreciative music consumers. So the benefits of music education are extended far-and-wide. In fact, this below news article posits that Extracurricular Music programs have benefits for all students, boosting their grades and graduation rates.

Wow, the research and findings – as follows – should not be ignored:

Title: Extracurricular Music Program Boosts Students’ Grades and Graduation Rates
By: Corey Whelan

(This article is presented in partnership with the California Lottery. The California Lottery proceeds provides supplemental funding to State Education & Music programs)

CU Blog - Extracurricular Music Programs Boost Students - Photo 1

Music is one of the most powerful motivators human beings have. Music can calm an anxious toddler, energize a sleepy teenager and elicit every human emotion known. According to MUSICSTAR, a California public school music program, it can also generate better math scores and higher rates of graduation among public school students. As reported in a recent Gallop Poll, most parents, including those raising children in California, agree that children can benefit from music programs and want them to be available at their child’s school.

The Sound of Learning
In general, music education and learning how to play a musical instrument, have been consistently resulted in developing a myriad of skills and abilities among children. In addition to acquiring mastery of an instrument many come to love, according to MUSICSTAR, the following benefits also occur:

  • Creativity development
  • Team-building skills, particularly if they play in an orchestra or band
  • Increased levels of academic and personal achievement
  • Higher sense of self-esteem
  • Increased levels of self-discipline
  • Higher rates of school spirit
  • Decreased rates of behavioral issues
  • Decreased levels of depression and anxiety

Music programs in school can also support better relationships between teachers and students, and between the school and parent community.

The Power of MUSICSTAR Learning
MUSICSTAR is an educational program which is offered in a variety of California’s public schools, both during the school day and as an after-school program. “We’re providing a solution for many of California’s schools, from elementary through to high school, by providing all of the music education components needed, from the equipment to the instruments, plus the curriculum, trained teaching staff and program support,” says Eckart Seeber, the director of the MUSICSTAR program. “There’s no limit as to what instruments the children can use. They can access and explore band instruments, guitar, drums, marching band or rock band or the violin.”

As an award-winning composer, Seeber knows firsthand what the power of musical learning can do. “MUSICSTAR ran our own internal research and also accessed third-party research which compared students in the same socioeconomic locations. Consistently it was shown that music education learners excelled in many areas over students who were not studying music, in ways which surprised some parents and educators. Music students consistently displayed higher test scores in mathematics than their non-music studying counterparts,” he explains.

The Benefit to Students and Their Community
Students are welcome to explore a wide range of musical instruments and techniques, including multicultural music, music technology, mariachi, choir, glee and hand-drumming. Program options can be suited to all levels of musical ability and the student’s age. Several themes run through all of the programs and provide high levels of musicianship and aesthetics, music literacy and an in-depth comprehension of music as it has been applied throughout various historical periods as an art form.

The programs are geared towards acquiring performance and public speaking skills, both confidence builders. Students involved in the programs long term have the opportunity to take their music into the community. With the support of school-based professionals, many students go on to play with groups at community centers and senior citizen facilities, providing a well-deserved respite for others and an incredible self-growth opportunity for themselves.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

Source: CBS Los Angeles – News Site of Local Affiliate (Posted March 18, 2015; retrieved 5/28/2015) –

The focus of this commentary is on education. (This has proven to be a pivotal subject for the Go Lean movement: the book and accompanying blogs). The focus on this commentary is also on music, and the intersection of these two dynamics: music education.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), an initiative to bring change and empowerment to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play. From the outset, the book recognized the significance of music in the Caribbean change/empowering plan with these statements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12 & 14):

xxi.  Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxxii.  Whereas the cultural arts and music of the region are germane to the quality of Caribbean life, and the international appreciation of Caribbean life, the Federation must implement the support systems to teach, encourage, incentivize, monetize and promote the related industries for arts and music in domestic and foreign markets. These endeavors will make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

The purpose of the Go Lean roadmap is to foster change, to elevate Caribbean society. Music can play a major role in that endeavor; (there is the acknowledgement that music can help forge change). Education is also pivotal. Therefore music education must be a priority.

This Go Lean roadmap calls for the heavy-lifting in shepherding change in Caribbean life. In fact, the empowerment roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

While the Go Lean book describes the CU as a hallmark of a technocracy, with a commitment to efficiency and effectiveness, there is still a commitment to concepts of fun, such as music, arts, sports, film/media, heritage and overall happiness. There is the 3rd rail of this Caribbean optimization roadmap: 1. Live, 2. Work and 3. Play.

The Go Lean book declares that before any real change takes root in the Caribbean that we must reach the heart of people, to ready them to adopt new community ethos – the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. This is easier said than done! But, Music helps.

This Go Lean movement has previously detailed how society can be transformed through music; consider prior Go Lean blog/commentaries:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5251 Bahamas Attempts to Transform Society with Inaugural Carnival
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3641 Building a City on ‘Rock and Roll’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3568 Forging Change: Music Moves People
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2415 How ‘The Lion King’ Music/Play roared into history
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2291 Forging Change: The Fun Theory
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1909 Music Role Model Berry Gordy: Transformed America
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=866 Music Role Model Bob Marley: Legend Transformed the World
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=273 10 Things We Do Not Want From the US – #9: Cultural Neutralizations

Our world is in constant flux. The region has not always kept pace with change; as a result, we have often fallen behind and lost many battles in the war of globalization. We have stood on the sidelines and watched the taste and interest of our young people, and many times our youth themselves, shift to life in foreign shores. Change need not be scary! We can win many of the battles of globalization; we do not have to lose this war.

To win, or if only to survive, we must first outfit ourselves in a complete suit of armor. This is a Biblical reference (Ephesians 6:10-18). It stresses that a foremost piece of armor is a “helmet”, referring to the need to protect/prepare mental processes.

This means education!

Yes, the need to better teach our youth is a God-given mandate. Music can be an offensive and defensive tool (weapon). Since most educational administrations in the Caribbean are overwhelmed with just the delivery of the basic “3 R’s” – defined above – music is mostly deemed an extracurricular activity. The Go Lean roadmap was constructed with the approach that change and new empowerments are needed for the Caribbean “community ethos”; plus the execution of new strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to impact our society. The following list from the book provides a sample of the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies for the region to Go Lean:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Intellectual Property Page 29
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide Page 31
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness – Promotion of Domestic Culture Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Celebrate the Music, Sports, Art, People and Culture of the Caribbean Page 46
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing Economy to $800 Billion – Education Empowerments Page 70
Tactical – Separation-of-Powers – Educational Empowerment from Federation   to Member-States Page 85
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region – Four Languages in Unison Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better – Music/Media/Arts for better PLAY Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Hollywood Page 202
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Beauty Pageants Page 203
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Music Page 231
Appendix – Job Creations – Music and Art Related Jobs: 12,600 Page 257
Appendix – Caribbean Musical Genres for all 30 Member States Page 347

The quest to change the Caribbean is conceivable, believable and achievable. But it is more than just playing or listening to music. It is heavy-lifting. Yes, it does include a lot of skill-sets of those that master the Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic subject matters; but it also has a role for those with genius qualifiers in music and the other arts. Plus, according to the foregoing news article, education in music makes students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) better at their perspective STEM professions.

This is a win-win all-around. Even for those who fail to excel, master or display any genius abilities, their ventures into music will never be wasted, for at least they would have had fun consuming it. This will make them lifelong music patrons.

Life imitating art; art imitating life. This thought was dramatically illustrated in the 2003 Movie School of Rock; see Appendix and VIDEO below.

The Go Lean roadmap was composed with the theme that one man or woman can make a difference in transforming society. The cited movie below is renowned for the quotation:

“One great rock concert can change the world”.

Yes, according to one Bahamian Music Artist and Music Educator extraordinaire Sonovia “Novie” Pierre: Make Love; Make Peace; Make Music.

This aligns with the clarion call for the Go Lean…Caribbean book: A better place to live. A better place to work. A better place to Play. Music is tied to all of these activities.

This is the mandate of the Go Lean roadmap. Everyone is hereby encouraged to lean-in to this roadmap.



Appendix – Movie: School of Rock (2003)

Summary: When struggling musician Dewey Finn finds himself out of work, he takes over his roommate’s job as an elementary school substitute teacher and turns [his] class into a rock band.

Storyline: Down and out rock star Dewey Finn gets fired from his band, and he faces a mountain of debts and depression. He takes a job as a 4th grade substitute teacher at an uptight private school where his attitude and hijinks have a powerful effect on his students. He also meets Zack, a 10-year-old guitar prodigy, who could help Dewey win a “battle of the bands” competition, which would solve his financial problems and put him back in the spotlight. – Written by Anonymous

Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Mike White
Stars: Jack Black, Mike White, Joan Cusack

VIDEOSchool Of Rock – Epic Scenehttps://youtu.be/x_-4d8YBojo

The Journey: The Teacher discovering the genius talents in his midst.
Category: Music. License: Standard YouTube License

VIDEO – School Of Rock -Zach’s Song [HD] “OFFICIAL VIDEO” – https://youtu.be/oP7kExN8LFA

The Big Show: The culmination of all the effort, teamwork and genius.

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