Op-Ed: The value of culture and music in education

Music should be an integral part of every young person’s life and some of these videos demonstrate that.

We have been fortunate, so far, in our region of Bruce and Grey Counties to have excellent musical programs within the school system where young players learn not only the classics but also jazz and beyond.  With a plethora of professional musicians and music teachers in the area, students have had, and continue to have, the best when it comes to musical learning.

For anyone who has young students in school bands, community bands and, just bands in general, encourage them to listen to these videos that we have plucked from the internet.  These are youth orchestras that are bringing on the musicians of tomorrow.  One can only hope that governments of the day here, at home, see the value of culture within school programming as other countries throughout the world have.  “An arts-rich curriculum can provide a vehicle for self-expression, self-understanding, self-confidence, creative problem solving and motivation” (Pitman, 1998).

According to the International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Modern Education, ” … modern imaging techniques show which parts of the brain are active while carrying out various tasks. As it turns out, the image patterns produced when professional musicians listen to music are extremely similar to those images produced when professional mathematicians work on a mathematical problem. Apparently, expert musicians and mathematicians use the same brain circuits in their respective professions ”  (Keith Develin, Stanford University 2000).

The relationship between mathematics and music is immense spanning over 2,000 years of history from mathematicians, to musicians, to music theorists.  Professor of Music History and a Mathematician, Eli Maor, in his recent book, Music by the Numbers, says that “Music is filled with mathematical elements and Bach’s works are often said to possess a math-like logic.”

The first is the Youth Orchestra of Galicia, Spain playing Ravel’s Bolero and demonstrates what a conductor can bring out.

The next is the 3rd Polish Nationwide Music Schools’ Symphonic Orchestras Competition with a 15-year-old, Maja Babyszka, on piano … incredible!

Last, but not least is the Toronto  Symphony Youth Orchestra in the 40th Anniversary performance.