Educational Insights 3.31.2014
Educational Insights 3.31.14
Posted on 03/31/2014


          While we all want our students to do well, we also acknowledge that a single test score cannot totally define their learning and growth. Garden County Schools endorse a well-rounded curriculum to prepare students to be productive and successful adults. I recently ran across an interesting article (at: about the benefits of music education in students’ lives.

          According to the article, "research has repeatedly shown that students with a musical education out-perform those without a music background on standardized tests.” The author urges readers to ask what the ultimate goal of education is? He suggests “helping a child grow into an inquisitive adult with critical thinking and problem-solving skills has as much credence as mere memorization of facts.” 

“Music seems to offer a pretty fair set of life skills one garners through the mastery of complex tasks:

          *Reading music-interpreting notes, key signatures, tempi, & music dynamics

          *Playing the instrument-the physical demands of small and large muscular

              control involved in the proper production of sounds, the memorization and

              immediate recall of facts such as fingerings and hand positions

          *Following directions-working in concert with the director and those in one’s

              section and the band as a whole”

          This article reminded me that simply mastering test taking skills is not always a reliable indicator in predicting future success for all our students. Successful and productive people have a broad skill set which helps them deal with whatever the workplace and life throws at them.

         The author closed with, “Einstein was the smartest guy in the room. Albert also played a darn fine violin, and used it every time he needed to think through his problems. Which was often. As Einstein said, “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”

         Offering a wide variety of experiences in our educational curriculum is instrumental (no pun intended!). Parental support for the arts is needed to encourage children to recognize that music, art, and other creative courses can provide lifelong enjoyment, as well additional skill acquisition. While we want students to give their best and  perform well on all assessments, maintaining a healthy appreciation for a well-balanced curriculum can help keep things in proper perspective.


-Dr. Paula Sissel

Garden County Schools

Superintendent/Elementary Principal