2012/13 Omaha Symphony Education Programs
Why do our children need music? Surely it is just an extra-curricular activity. It may be fine, if you have the time for such pursuits, but how will it help my child, my grandchild, or any child succeed? Does it help them read? Become better at math? In this day and age, how important is the study of music really?
Very important. Vital. Necessary. Essential. That is what the Omaha Symphony believes.
The impact of music in the lives of our youth is immeasurable. Sure, studies have been done in an effort to quantify its value, statistics have been gathered. And all of the data and anecdotes support one basic truth: Music has the power to transform lives, facilitate change, inspire greatness, and create community.
Now, for some of those facts and figures:
- Research made between music and intelligence concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in improving children’s abstract reasoning skills. (Source: Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, "Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning," Neurological Research, vol. 19, February 1997 )
- According to the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. A higher percentage of music participants received As, As/Bs, and Bs than non-music participants. (Source: NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington D.C.)
- Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). — Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998
- Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. — College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001
- Lewis Thomas, physician and biologist, found that music majors comprise the highest percentage of accepted medical students at 66%. (Source: As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994.)
- "The nation’s top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century."— "The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education." Business Week, October 1996.
How do we, as a symphony orchestra, work to encourage and create educational music opportunities for our community?
Diligently, determinedly, and in ways that you might not expect.
The Omaha Symphony is dedicated to and invested in creating and maintaining accessible musical opportunities for every classroom in our community. Since its inception, the Omaha Symphony has been creating innovative programming that serves as an accessible, adaptable, and core resource for educators and youth. In the 2007/08 season alone, our educational programming served over 35,000 youth. That’s 35,000 separate opportunities for growth, change, increased creativity, and a better community. Imagine the impact that these opportunities have created over the organization’s 87 year history, and how that impact multiplies exponentially over time.
The Omaha Symphony’s education programs strive to:
1) Create an ongoing, sustainable approach to programming that minimizes the "one-hit wonder" phenomenon. From the pre-concert preparation packets to symphony musicians in the classroom, the Omaha Symphony’s education programs provide ample opportunities for your students to connect to the orchestra and the music, making their concert experience even more impactful.
2) Provide an interactive learning environment, making students active participants in their own learning. Whether it’s the fourth grade class singing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at Concerts for Youth, the middle school student creating his own sculpture at Celebrate Creativity, or the high school choir singing Mozart’s Requiem in the Holland Center, Omaha Symphony education programs acknowledge that students learn by doing.
3) Partner with other arts organizations to create a multidisciplinary approach to arts education. The Omaha Symphony collaborates with the Joslyn Art Museum, Opera Omaha, the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, and local and regional high schools to provide access to a wide variety of the arts for Nebraska and western Iowa students.
4) Serve as an adaptable and responsive resource to area teachers. Refer to the National Standards for Music Education associated with each program or call the Omaha Symphony education department to arrange a unique project for your students that is not included in the brochure. The Omaha Symphony strives to be a flexible music education resource for all area teachers. If you have a great idea, we want to hear about it!
The Omaha Symphony looks forward to helping you stimulate the creativity and imagination of your students as we work to enrich the minds and shape the lives of our community’s future leaders.
2012/13 Omaha Symphony Education Programs