Celebrate ‘Music in Our Schools Month’ in March

Celebrate ‘Music in Our Schools Month’ in March


ATLANTA—March is “Music In Our Schools Month,” a nationwide celebration in schools and communities sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. Programs focus on the importance of introducing students to music education and playing an instrument.

Studies collected by the National Association for Music Education show the following:

• Students with music course work and experience in music performance scored higher on the SAT.

• Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

• The constant adjustments of tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing and feeling train the brain to organize and conduct numerous activities at once.

John Mahlmann, executive director of the National Association for Music Education, said, “Music teachers and parents understand that skills learned through the discipline of music transfer directly to study skills, communication skills and cognitive skills useful in every part of the curriculum.”

Getting started:

Selecting an instrument for your student

Andy Schechter, marketing director of a new specialized Web site for musicians, said: “http://www.InstrumentExchange.com has opened the door for students to try a new instrument at an affordable price or trade up. An exclusive BlueBook feature provides objective pricing information for used instruments.”

Strings: The guitar is one of the most popular and affordable members of the stringed instrument family and is often compared to the piano for its versatility. Quality new instruments can be purchased for less than $500. Used instruments are available for as little as $200. One component to watch for is a solid wood top and back—generally spruce, cedar or mahogany—which adds to the richness of the sound.

Brass: The trumpet is one of the most versatile and durable brass instruments. The most popular type for students is the B-flat trumpet. A new student trumpet begins at about $700. If selecting a used trumpet, watch for dents, corrosion and leaks.

Woodwinds: The flute is considered the instrument most closely related to the human voice. The concert flute, or C flute, is the most common version and a suitable choice for beginners. Most new student flutes range from $600 to $750. Price increases depend on the amount of precious metal used in the construction of the instrument.

Where to find a good value

One tip is to consider the Internet. In addition to retail stores, the Internet offers new and used inventory for most musical instruments and gear. A new online auction site, http://www.InstrumentExchange.com, is built by musicians for musicians and offers an ironclad, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Individuals can log on and buy or sell almost any type of musical instrument and gear. Thousands of musical instruments are listed, including rare and collectible items.

Buyers have 48 hours to inspect purchases before payment is final. Unlike general, self-serve auctions, InstrumentExchange.com collects payments for all orders and guarantees sellers’ payments.

New program returns portion

of proceeds to school music programs

In recognition of Music In Our Schools Month, InstrumentExchange.com is launching a new program called Playback, which enables school music programs to receive roughly 3 percent of the proceeds from students’ instrument and gear purchases. Students use a code assigned to their school to automatically activate the program. Beginning this month, music teachers can log on to the site at http://www.InstrumentExchange.com and register to receive their school/teacher code.

The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Nearly 100,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers.

Information about the National Standards for Arts Education is available at http://www.menc.org or http://www.musicfriends.org.

InstrumentExchange.com is an online auction marketplace for new and used musical instruments and gear. Based in Atlanta, parent company ExchangeBlvd.com also operates GolfClubExchange.com, the largest golf club auction in the world.

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