Program Philosophy

Music education is an essential part to the overall education of a child. A well planned out music curriculum, following the Nine Standards of Music Education developed by the National Association for Music Education and subsequently adopted by the Indiana Department of Education, provides many positive benefits and develops well-rounded students from kindergarten through the High School years and as future citizens.

Music is a skill that can be used for a lifetime. Students can play in college for extra credit or personal enjoyment after high school. After graduation there are many more opportunities that present themselves to musicians: community bands/orchestras, church music and even semi-professional groups.

While students are participating in the North Daviess Music Department, they learn so much more than just how to play an instrument. They also learn how to think creatively, they learn cooperation and teamwork, how to strive for excellence, and how to “think on their feet”. As a musician there are many important things that need to be focused on simultaneously. Am I in tune? Am I playing loud enough or too loud? Am I playing in time with those around me? These, and many others, are all changes that need to be evaluated and adapted on the spot as one is performing in order for the whole group to be successful which is also an important concept to be learned – each person in the ensemble has value to the overall success of the group.

Music also affects the brain, being processed in many different parts of the brain and not simply concentrated in the right or left hemisphere like math or language skills. Listening to music, analyzing and creating music all involve cognitive skills and thinking strategies that are transferable to other tasks and school subjects. Music is math. The duration of notes is all fractions based. Music is science. The production of sound allows studying sound waves, frequency, and amplitude. Music is a foreign language. Many of the terms still used are based on Latin, French, or Italian words. Also the symbols on the page are a kind of code to decipher – a black and white representation on paper of what our ears should hear. We, as musicians, bring that shorthand to life to produce a beautiful piece of music. Once all of these elements have been put together a creation has been realized and lives have been changed.

Band Director

Jeff VanderMel, 812-636-8000 x 3120