The 2017 NAMM Music Education Advocacy Fly-In to Washington, D.C.

Jordan Kitt’s Music was proud to take part in the 2017 NAMM Music Education Advocacy D.C. Fly-In, which was a great success!

Fly In NAMM

The week started with more than 50 NAMM members attending the Day of Service at Jefferson Middle School Academy.

Day of Service

On Tuesday, ninety-eight delegates prepared for their efforts on Capitol Hill by participating in advocacy training at the Newseum and a lunchtime keynote by David Brooks, New York Times columnist and Turnaround Arts artist.

David Brooks

The next day, the Country Music Association, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and three-time World Series winner, Bernie Williams joined NAMM members for a day of advocacy. Over 170 meetings took place with Members of Congress or their staff to advocate for music education.

Riley Williams CAS

(pictured from left to right: former U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley, Jordan Kitt’s Music CEO Chris Syllaba, and former New York Yankee Bernie Williams)

Jordan Kitts Music was once again proud to take advantage of this opportunity to work with NAMM to create a larger and more vibrant presence for music education in schools throughout the country.

For more information, visit NAMM.org

The mystery of music and the mind…

via nature.com

Whether tapping a foot to samba or weeping at a ballad, the human response to music seems almost instinctual. Yet few can articulate how music works. How do strings of sounds trigger emotion, inspire ideas, even define identities?

Cognitive scientists, anthropologists, biologists and musicologists have all taken a crack at that question, and it is into this line that Adam Ockelford steps. Comparing Notes draws on his experience as a composer, pianist, music researcher and, most notably, a music educator working for decades with children who have visual impairments or are on the autistic spectrum, many with extraordinary musical abilities. Through this “prism of the overtly remarkable”, Ockelford seeks to shed light on music perception and cognition in all of us. Existing models based on neurotypical children could overlook larger truths about the human capacity to learn and make sense of music he contends.

George Pickow/Three Lions/Getty

How the human brain processes music remains a mystery.

Some of the children described in Comparing Notes might (for a range of reasons) have trouble tying their shoelaces or carrying on a basic conversation. Yet before they hit double digits in age, they can hear a complex composition for the first time and immediately play it on the piano, their fingers flying to the correct notes. This skill, Ockelford reminds us, eludes many adults with whom he studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Weaving together the strands that let these children perform such stunning feats, Ockelford constructs an argument for rethinking conventional wisdom on music education.

He positions absolute pitch (AP) as central to these abilities to improvise, listen and play. Only 1 in 10,000 neurotypical people in the West have AP — the ability to effortlessly, without context, name the note sounded by a violin or a vacuum cleaner (“That’s an F-sharp!”). Among those on the autism spectrum, the number rises to 8%, roughly 1 in 13. For people born blind or who lost their sight early in infancy, it is 45%. AP, Ockelford argues, enables children to sound out and tinker with familiar tunes; that experimentation leads to a deep grasp of musical structure.

Read more here