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How Has Music Education Impacted Your Life? Read The Stories Of Over 1,400 Pennsylvanians That Believe In The Power And Value Of Music Education

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How Has Music Education Impacted Your Life? Read The Stories Of Over 1,400 Pennsylvanians That Believe In The Power And Value Of Music Education March 2015 PMEA Legislative Recommendations 4 Notable Responses
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How Has Music Education Impacted Your Life? Read The Stories Of Over 1,400 Pennsylvanians That Believe In The Power And Value Of Music Education March 2015 PMEA Legislative Recommendations 4 Notable Responses 6 Table of Contents All Responses By County Adams 10 Allegheny 13 Armstrong 51 Beaver 54 Bedford 62 Berks 67 Blair 75 Bradford 81 Bucks 85 Butler 92 Cambria 96 Cameron 105 Carbon 108 Centre 108 Chester 116 Clarion 153 Clearfield 160 Clinton 161 Columbia 162 Crawford 168 Cumberland 169 Dauphin 174 Delaware 182 Elk 189 Erie 190 Fayette 200 Franklin 201 Fulton 206 Greene 206 Huntingdon 207 Indiana 208 Jefferson 215 Juniata 217 Lackawanna 220 Lancaster 233 Lawrence 256 Lebanon 257 Lehigh 259 Luzerne 268 Lycoming 273 McKean 276 Mercer 279 Mifflin 289 Monroe 292 Montgomery 294 Montour 306 Northampton 307 Northumberland 312 Perry 315 Philadelphia 316 Pike 320 Potter 323 Schuylkill 324 Snyder 326 Somerset 329 Susquehanna 335 Tioga 338 Union 341 Venango 343 Warren 345 Washington 347 Wayne 352 Westmoreland 354 Wyoming 362 York 363 How Has Music Education Impacted Your Life? A Collection of Responses from Pennsylvanians Brought To You By PMEA: The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association HOW$HAS$MUSIC$EDUCATION$IMPACTED$YOUR$LIFE?$ 1! Pennsylvania Music Educators Association 56 S. Third St., Hamburg, PA Phone: Toll Free: Fax: March 25, 2015 President Dennis Emert Fox Chapel Area SD 611 Field Club Rd Pittsburgh, PA Immediate Past President William J. Pendziwiatr 54 Overlook Rd Nescopeck, PA Professional Dev. Chair Susan Basalik 324 Colonial Ave. Collegeville, PA Professional Dev. Vice Chair Johanna Steinbacher Mount Nittany MS 656 Brandywine Dr. State College, PA Executive Director Margaret S. Bauer, CAE PMEA Executive Office 56 S. Third St. Hamburg, PA or PMEA (7632) In 2014, Mark Despotakis, chair of the PMEA Advancement of Music Education got the idea to compile a booklet on How Music Education Has Impacted Your Life. His hope was to get letters from people across the state in various professions and tell their story about the impact that a quality music education had on their life. The responses were overwhelming. We have received over 1400 stories at the time of publication and hope to obtain even more. According to NAfME Executive Director Michael Butera: Research does indicate that music education enhances brain development and correlates with higher standardized test scores and better attendance rates. While these measures of student progress are indisputably valuable, the benefits of a balanced education also go beyond such measures. Music education can assist students in developing the 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity; while facilitating discipline, teamwork, and an appreciation for diverse cultures. Additionally, an education in music and the arts offers students understandings and experiences they cannot gain through other subjects: creation of tangible artistic products, engagement with ambiguity, focus on emotion, exploration of individual and group identities, and an orientation towards the ongoing nature of artistic processes. In short, music education orchestrates success. Since the transformative power of music education cannot always be expressed in numbers, we wanted to know how individuals would articulate the importance of music education in their lives. We at PMEA are pleased to offer these stories for you to read and enjoy. Hopefully, this will help you to better understand how a sequential, standards based music education, taught be a certified music teacher can impact people of all walks of life. Sincerely, Dennis Emert PMEA President An Affiliate of the National Association for Music Education 2 THE PENNSYLVANIA MUSIC EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION! Pennsylvania Music Educators Association 56 S. Third St., Hamburg, PA Phone: Toll Free: Fax: March 25, 2015 President Dennis Emert Fox Chapel Area SD 611 Field Club Rd Pittsburgh, PA Immediate Past President William J. Pendziwiatr 54 Overlook Rd Nescopeck, PA Professional Dev. Chair Susan Basalik 324 Colonial Ave. Collegeville, PA Professional Dev. Vice Chair Johanna Steinbacher Mount Nittany MS 656 Brandywine Dr. State College, PA Executive Director Margaret S. Bauer, CAE PMEA Executive Office 56 S. Third St. Hamburg, PA or PMEA (7632) In our world of high stakes testing, music and the arts may be the only outlet for some students. Music and the arts may be the only reason a child wants to go to school. Music and the arts may be the only way a child can express himself. Music and the arts are a lifelong skill that every child and adult can appreciate and participate in throughout their life. What you see in the following pages are testimonials written in their own words from over 1,400 Pennsylvanians that believe in the power of music and music education. The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) set out to answer the question:. What we received as answers were far more than we ever expected. You ll find touching stories from across the state of lives changed because of music. You ll read stories from people of all ages that realize how music has moved them and changed them and made them appreciate the world around them. Especially moving are stories included in this book from students involved in PMEA music festivals. We ask that you, as a policy maker, remember and refer back to these stories when you are making decisions about education. If we truly want our students to be well rounded, culturally aware, engaged citizens, then, it s an obvious choice to give EVERY student the opportunity to experience the power of music. We ve all read the facts about the value of music education when it comes to learning to work together, appreciating culture, developing social skills, increased attendance at schools and increased proficiency in reading and math. Now it s time to see the stories behind those facts. I urge you to take some time to read the stories of your constituents in this book. I promise you will be moved by much of what you read. These are real Pennsylvanians that don t ever want to see music education impacted in a negative way. We rely on your support to help us make sure music education in Pennsylvania continues to be a valuable part of an entire education for every child. Musically, Mark R. Despotakis Chair, PMEA Advancement of Music Education Council Director of Market Development, Progressive Music HOW$HAS$MUSIC$EDUCATION$IMPACTED$YOUR$LIFE?$ 3! PMEA Legislative Recommendations For Pennsylvania students to succeed in school and life, PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) believes that: Because music and the arts effectively engage students in their creative, cultural, aesthetic, intellectual, social, physical, and emotional developments indeed, in the development of their identities as students and citizens, develop students skills critical to 21st century learning for success in school and life, and develop skills integral to the economy of the state of Pennsylvania and the US, All pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in Pennsylvania must be guaranteed music and arts education are offered as core curricula music and arts curricula are based on a balanced, comprehensive and sequential pre-k-12, standards-based music and arts education music and arts education are taught and assessed by certified music and arts specialists THEREFORE PMEA requests that: Ask #1: Increase in Basic Subsidy Funding Pennsylvania should increase the Basic Education Subsidy. State budgets in the past have cut funding to local school districts. By increasing the basic subsidy to local school districts, Pennsylvania would serve students more effectively by allowing local school districts the discretion to use the money as they see fit. Ask #2: Enact a Fair Funding Formula For far too long local school districts in some of the poorest areas of Pennsylvania have suffered by not receiving adequate funding for the students they serve. Pennsylvania should establish a fair funding formula that treats every student enrolled in a Pennsylvania public school the same. Students born into an affluent school district and students born into a poor school district should have the same right to an adequately funded education. Ask #3: PDE Arts Content Advisor / Liaison Pennsylvania reinstate the funded PDE staff position that supervises the development of curriculum and standards in five content areas: Music Visual Art Theatre Dance Media Arts The position was removed from the PDE Curriculum staff in the state budget. 4$ THE$PENNSYLVANIA$MUSIC$EDUCATORS$ASSOCIATION! THINK BEYOND THE BUBBLES: In an age where teachers are forced to focus solely on narrowly construed measures of educational success (i.e. standardized tests and other quantifiable achievement scores), music education offers a unique opportunity to engage deeply with students creativity, curiosity, and motivations. Studies have shown positive links between engagement with music and academic achievement. While important, these data are still a small part of the big picture. Music helps develop the student behind the score students who are curious, motivated, engaged, and confident in their ability to succeed in our society. BROADER-MINDED ARGUMENTS FOR MUSIC EDUCATION: Music students have a unique opportunity to receive immediate feedback and to reflect on their progress, make needed adjustments, and improve based on their own observations of their performance. Students learn the value of discipline, determination, and grit achieving goals in the face of obstacles. Students get the chance to fail, and try again. They gain confidence and self-understanding, and learn to manage better their emotions and decision-making processes. Students get the chance to develop a greater emotional awareness through music, particularly during collaboration, and to consider the thoughts and feelings of others. Students get the chance to develop a tolerance for process. They refine their thinking as part of the creative process; they gain the ability to re-evaluate goals and adjust approaches to an objective. CONCLUSIONS: We believe that music education is invaluable in developing successful students. Music shapes the way our students understand themselves and the world around them. It allows for deep engagement with learning. It nurtures assets and skills that are critical to future success. Because of the special qualities and skills it helps to instill, we believe that music is essential to a superior 21st-century education. This is the broader-minded argument for music education. It s about bringing balance back to the curriculum, and the ways in which music offers opportunities to excel. We re bringing the focus back to the student, not the score. VISIT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR MUSIC EDUCATION HOW$HAS$MUSIC$EDUCATION$IMPACTED$YOUR$LIFE?$ 5! NOTABLE RESPONSES 2015 Pennsylvania Teacher Of The Year Mairi Cooper Occupation: Teacher From: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Music education has impacted every aspect of my life. I was (and still am) a violinist but my school district did not have a strings program. Most of my peers did not understand my interest. Fortunately, I found a home within the choral program. Through the friendships that I made in that program, I developed social skills that have been critical in my adult life. While these skills have been invaluable to me, even more importantly, music education taught me how to think critically. I learned to analyze a problem, create approaches to solving that problem and then the discipline to work through the approaches until the solution was solidified. These skills are the ones that we all talk about in STEM programs. I learned them not in a science classroom but from my music teachers. Internationally Renowned Opera Singer Marianne Cornetti Occupation: Internationally renowed opera singer From: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Dear Legislators! My name is Marianne Cornetti, I am an internationally acclaimed opera singer. I was 12 years old and in the 6th grade chorus at Saxonburg Elementary School when my chorus teacher, Debbie Pakler, asked me to sing a solo in the spring concert! I accepted and sang I d Like to Teach the World to Sing! I was so HAPPY to have been asked! What I was unaware of was Debbie Pakler had then called the chorus teacher, Evelyn Callender at Knoch High School, telling her to please watch out for me because she TRULY felt that I had a special talent. I arrived in Evie's class, and she immediately listened to my voice and asked me then to sing a solo in the fall concert. In the 8th grade she approached my parents about the possibility of taking voice lessons! Even though I was young to begin formal training, she thought my voice was mature enough! My parents and I consented and I began my formal vocal training with a WONDERFUL teacher. Starting with a VERY GOOD teacher was and is still VITAL to the development of a Young voice! My foundation was set correctly! From 8th grade through my senior year, I had so many opportunities to enhance my music education! I was encouraged to sing in the high school musicals from 9th grade to 12th grade! Every year I got a role and every year the roles got bigger. My senior year I had the lead in Funny Girl! Along with all of the musicals, I was encouraged to audition for honors, districts, regional and state choruses. Every year I placed very high and even had the honor of singing solos in these concerts! Evelyn Callender prepared me meticulously for all of these events! My other teacher, Don Orwald, prepared me dramatically for all of the musicals, and to this day I am using the skills that were taught to me at Knoch high School by Evie and Don! Might I add that each one of these concerts and musicals were building blocks for my confidence and development! Evie not only taught chorus, but also Music Education! I learned theory and harmony and solfege and composition in 7th, 8th and 9th grades! Because I had such and AMAZING high school background, I immediately was accepted into the FINEST conservatories in our country. I am now considered one of the FINEST VERDI MEZZOS IN THE WORLD TODAY! I have sung in all of the Major opera houses in the world, The Metropolitan Opera in NY, La Scala in Milano, Vienna, The Royal Opera House in London, just to name a few. I TRULY BELIEVE IT'S BECAUSE MY MUSIC TEACHERS WERE THERE TO GUIDE ME AND THE SCHOOLS WERE THERE TO GIVE ME THE OPPORTUNITIES! I would HOPE you NEVER take music education out of our schools! BUT INSTEAD ENHANCE IT AND ENCOURAGE IT! I AM LIVING PROOF THAT MUSIC EDUCATION IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY! 6$ THE$PENNSYLVANIA$MUSIC$EDUCATORS$ASSOCIATION! Nathan Buonviri Occupation: Professor From: Havertown, Delaware County I am a professor of music education at Temple University, a former high school music teacher, and a professional musician. Why would anyone care to know my biased opinions on the importance of music education in our lives? Why? Because I did not know I would be any of these things when I was in the third grade. But in that year, my mother somehow wrangled the administration of my small-town elementary school to let me begin trumpet a year early. I started elementary band with a small group of students who cared as much about sound as I did---much more, we came to realize, than our classmates. My first musical hero was the director of that band. I developed immediate respect for a person who could play all of those instruments, demonstrate anything we needed to know or be able to do, and lead us to performing music together in front of the rest of the school and community. Both of my parents were teachers, my father in high school mathematics, and my mother in middle school literature. Teaching seems to have been in my genes ; music was not. Neither of my parents claim any credit whatsoever for my musicality. Luckily, they gave me the opportunity to study music and supported me from an uninformed but encouraging perspective. I count myself fortunate to have played in that elementary band for obvious reasons: it has undoubtedly led to all I have done in music over the years. But even as an 8-year-old boy in that group, I had already recognized that all of my bandmates and I, no matter what path we might take in life, were benefitting in a way that other students were not. Music opened to us a world that cannot be understood except by stepping firmly into it and experiencing it firsthand. On behalf of them, I encourage all of you to continue to support music in our schools in every way possible. Dr. Raymond J. Boccuti Occupation: Superintendent of Schools - New Hope-Solebury School District, New Hope, PA From: Langhorne, Bucks County After achieving a B.M. degree in music education, an M.A. degree in jazz performance, and ten years of teaching K-12 music between the School District of Philadelphia and the Neshaminy School District, my career was not initially geared to prepare me for my current position as Superintendent of Schools in the New Hope-Solebury School District. However, as I moved through the administrative positions of Assistant Principal, Principal, Supervisor of Fine Arts K-12, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction K-12, Assistant Superintendent, and now Superintendent of two different high performing school districts, I have come to appreciate and highly value how much music education has genuinely impacted my personal and professional life. When I was in high school, while I attempted to always be a diligent student, my motivation to do well in school was to ensure I had the opportunity to play my saxophone in school every day. As a music educator, I learned the importance of dedicating long hours beyond the school day in the very best interests of my music students. When I was asked in my first administrative interview if I was prepared for the long hours of administration, I respectfully replied that the question would really be whether or not the long hours of administration would surpass the long hours of a dedicated music teacher. As Superintendent, it is so very important to be highly visible and to share the insights into my own passions, deep seated principles, and values. To this very day, I frequently achieve that though music. For example, each December in our school district's final winter concert of the season, I have been so humbled and proud to be invited each year to guest conduct our high school choir and orchestra in movements of Handel's Messiah as the grand finale of the concert and now an established tradition. In the spring, I join our high school instrumental music students for a full week as a member of our pit orchestra for our annual high school musical. Finally, at many formal events where I am asked to speak, I often request to say just a few words and then dedicate a musical performance on one of my woodwind instruments. Music and the fine arts have always been the passion that drives my personal and professional life and will continue to play a important role in whatever I pursue. In so many ways, music has always defined who I am. HOW$HAS$MUSIC$EDUCATION$IMPACTED$YOUR$LIFE?$ 7! 8 THE PENNSYLVANIA MUSIC EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION! Alexis Edwards From: Sidman, Cambria County Music education has impacted me in every single aspect of my life. The answer every politician wants to hear is that it's improved my school performance, which is true. But that's not all music has done for me. School can be a very stressful experience and music has been the only thing I have had to look forward to in school for the past 8 years that I have been a musician. It has taught me motivation, determination, perseverance, and that failure is okay. It's taught me how to make friendships and how to work with others towards one common goal. It's taught me that if you want something, you work for it; that even if you work as hard as you possibly can, someone will be better
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