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Music Programs

Cathy Benedict is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education at New York University.

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Cathy Benedict from NYU talks about how to start and/or maintain school music programs. She discusses how her students have the skills to start music programs and prepares them to teach music while having little or nothing in the classroom. She also discusses her belief that students are not being served with music as well as they should be in schools.

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Well I mean if you have saved the music instruments, that’s essentially your program. But if your principal has said, “I’m looking for a program that will fit in with the particular goals of this school,” then you need to work with that principal. Do my students come prepared with being, with the skills to begin music programs? Absolutely.

I have first-year teachers right now who are starting music programs. It depends on what the principal is asking for. It depends - I also have a very big focus on preparing my students to exist with absolutely nothing, that they need to come out with a songbook. They need to come out with repertoire, because they can’t depend that they’ll be a textbook series there or instruments there. So they need to be able to teach without a piano, the guitar skills that we have. That priorities for me are examining the assumptions that the programs form which we came serve all students equally. And I think that that’s absolutely not true. I think many students in city situations are - and suburban situations - aren’t being served in ways that they should be.

And I think - and I also spend a lot of time deconstructing the disconnect between this notion that students don’t have music in their lives, and they need us. That’s just not true. And that our job is to facilitate what they come to us with. And our job is not to transmit our expertise at all, in any way, shape, or form. Just as we all benefit from the beauty of mathematics and the beauty of language arts. I think all of it is connected. I think - I’m not from the school of thought that all children need to have music because I’m a musician. I think we all need very thoughtful and well-rounded educations. And I think because of the high stakes climate right now, that’s very - the high stakes testing climate, I think that’s very difficult to address, that we should all have access to thoughtful music programs.

[End of Audio]

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CB, Music Programs.doc

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