Pinelands High's focus on the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education follows an increasing recognition of the role music plays in the development of children. Research shows that far from being a nice-to-have extra-mural activity, music has a fundamental role to play in the development of the brain, and the on-going success of a child's academic career. Many of the world's top-performing academic countries such as Japan and the Netherlands place a high value on music education, and require music training at elementary and middle school.
Research into the teaching of music as part of a child's education shows that it can impact positively on areas such as language development, reasoning and spatial intelligence. Research, too, into the correlation between music and mathematics seems to suggest that studying music has a positive effect on a child's understanding of mathematical concepts.
Apart from this, music is a craft that demands excellence, and children who are taught music also learn craftsmanship as they work to perfect playing a piece of music. A successful performance is made possible only by hard work and sustained effort, and so music pupils not only learn to stretch themselves but they also learn the joy of reward for a job well done, and the self-esteem that results from this.
Music is a disclipline, and no band or ensemble will succeed without all members working together harmoniously towards a single goal. Being part of a music group teaches children self-discipline and the importance of working as a team. Both these skills are invaluable in later life.
And perhaps, most important of all, music provides a child with a unique form of self-expression that invites passion and demands dedication. In the words of the philosopher Plato: "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything".