Charles Burke, Senior Director of Education, Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Changing Lives Through Music, One Child At A Time.

September 19, 2013

Music education is critical to the success of every child.  That is our belief at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – all children deserve the opportunity have music as part of their daily education and curriculum.  According to The College Entrance Examination Board, the arts in K-12 education improve academic performance, increase SAT scores, and produce a skilled and prepared workforce; students who participate in the arts for at least four years consistently outperform their peers on the SAT.  They score 59 points higher on the verbal section and 45 points higher on the math section.  Furthermore, a study conducted by Americans for the Arts concluded that students who participate in the arts at least three hours a day for three days a week for at least one year are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, three times more likely to win an award for school attendance, and, four times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem.

Did you know that last year alone, that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed in 6 DPS school auditoriums reaching more than 5000 students?  Did you know that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led more than 50 master classes, instrument demonstrations and lessons for over 650 DPS students?  Did you know that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has supplemental music education programs for children of all ages and backgrounds at Orchestra Hall each week – training more than 1100 students a week?  Did you know that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is the only orchestra in the world where families can watch a concert for free on their smart phone or tablet device?  And, did you know that the DSO offers a special student program called SoundCard – where every single DSO concert can be attended for only $25? 

So, what can you do to get connected to the amazing music education scene that is emerging in Detroit?  Ask questions, be vocal advocates and partner with institutions such as the DPS Foundation and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  As parents and community members, we hold the power to make music education critical – not optional.  As parents and community members, our advocacy and voice transcends every bureaucracy and cuts to the absolute needs of our children. And, as parents and community members, we can work collaboratively, innovatively and efficiently with “organizations of vision” – such as the DPS foundation and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  Imagine a time where music and arts education is not a choice, but a requirement for success.  That time is now and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is excited to be a resource for you.  Check us out at www.dso.org or come down to Orchestra Hall – there is something for every family and everyone is always welcome.  Be our partner and together we can transform the lives of our children for a brighter future.

Deirdre D. Young, DDS: A Well Rounded Education Builds Student SuccessPreparing for Another Successful Academic Year

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