Why Participate in High School Orchestra?

Orchestra is a lot of fun and a place where you can make life long friends and memories.  But there are several other reasons to be involved in a fine arts program, like Orchestra, when you go to high school. Here are some things to consider:

Did you Know?

Students can easily participate in an academy and a fine art, like orchestra.  Click this link to see an example schedule 

https://www.smore.com/pfn9x

Did You Know?

Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-instrumental peers in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts.
Source: University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent

Did You Know?

Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66 percent of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. For comparison, (44 percent) of biochemistry majors were admitted. Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.
Sources: "The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University," Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480

Did You Know?

Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades.
Source: National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up (1990), U.S. Department of Education.

Did You Know?

High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.
Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001

Did You Know?

The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States' focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.
Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

Did You Know?

Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music -- specifically, learning to play music -- does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than allow us to entertain ourselves and others by playing an instrument or singing. Instead, it actually changes our brains.

The paper, just published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a compilation of research findings from scientists all over the world who used all kinds of research methods. The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally.

So what is it that musical training does? According to the Northwestern scientists, the findings strongly indicate it adds new neural connections -- and that primes the brain for other forms of human communication.

In fact, actively working with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to adapt and change. "A musician's brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound. In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean," Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature paper and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, explained in a statement to the media. "The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication."

For example, researchers have found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to comprehend speech in a noisy background.

What's more, children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability than youngsters who haven't had any musical training. And children with learning disabilities, who often have a hard time focusing when there's a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by music lessons. "Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise," Dr. Kraus stated.

The Northwestern researchers concluded their findings make a case for including music in school curriculums. "The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development," they wrote.

Click here to read an article published by Scientific American addressing the importance of music education and how it strengthens the mind.

Did You Know? 

Participating in extracurricular activities make you stand out to college admissions staff.

College preparation means more than just good grades. College admissions committees like students who are unique and well-rounded. In addition to good grades and college prep classes, extracurricular activities should be part of your college preparation plan. There are numerous activities in the field of music and arts that will improve your college application and orchestra is definitely one of them!

One benefit of being involved in extracurricular activities is that they will help you stand out as an individual when college admissions committees look at your application. Great universities get tons of applications, and most of the applicants have a great academic background. Extracurricular activities on your college application will help to make your application unique and memorable. It might even be useful to include certain extra curricular activities on your job resume someday.

Just remember that it can be dangerous to pile on too many activities in preparation for college hoping to impress the admissions committees. It’s much better to dedicate your time to a few extracurricular activities and show your hard work, dedication and leadership in them than to pile on as many activities as possible. College admissions committees won’t be impressed with a long roster of activities you joined for a short time. They are more interested in the quality of your participation in your activities than the sheer number.