Does music education matter that much?

Have you seen this video of the kids playing 46 & 2 by TOOL?   Just to put things into proper context, here is the original:

A group of kids playing the same song:

Can you imagine how cool these kids must feel?  There are few greater gifts to give kids or teenagers (or adults, for that matter) than to help them do something that makes the feel legitimately cool about themselves.  When people feel genuinely awesome, they act in awesome ways.  Our world needs more people seeing themselves as awesome and acting likewise.

Aside from feeling cool… just think of all the things things that these kids learn and master in the process of learning this very difficult music and performing it together:

  • team work
  • hand / eye coordination
  • math
  • language
  • vocabulary
  • philosophy
  • technology skills
  • leadership

… just to name a few. That’s what music education did for me growing up. I was bad at everything… except music. It gave me identity, self esteem, and hope.   Music education was a godsend.

Today on the show I spoke with Pat Melfi and Debbie Beninati of the MuzArt Foundation.  Muzart is a group dedicated to getting music education back into our schools, particularly at the elementary level:

Founded in 2004, MuzArt World Foundation’s mission is to ensure that every child in America is able to attend schools that value music and art in a way that improves student achievement in academics, career, and life—especially in science, technology, engineering and math related fields. The Foundation’s contributions to education throughout the years has provided opportunities to educate and bring awareness to the need for the preservation of music and arts in the classroom as a means of cultivating all areas of human development.

Pat and Debbie come with impressive resumes:

Debbie Beninati is the official spokesperson for Muzart World Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness for the critical need to preserve arts and music programs in schools.  She has over 20 years of experience teaching music to children across the nation.   Debbie was recognized for her outstanding work as a volunteer with the Lone Peak Children’s Orchestra, receiving the 2013 Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.  She brings a classroom perspective to understanding why arts and music programs are so valuable to young minds when it comes to excelling in other areas of learning.

 As a Vice-President for MCA Records/Alexas Music Productions and Tour Management. Pat was an International Media Marketing Manager, 5 Time Award Winning Promoter of The Year and principal responsible for international sales, financial management, marketing and promotional activities for the company’s management of Artists and international concert touring activities. Company produces concerts throughout the world. Established support functions to include inside sales, telemarketing, Internet global marketing, print, direct mail, radio and television advertising.

Pat produced and managed international concert tours for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Meatloaf, Elton John, Vince Gill, Rod Stewart, Alabama, Creedence Clearwater, Collin Raye, Rascal Flatts, Barry Manilow, Travis Tritt, and more. Currently is the Personal Manager for, 3 Time Grammy-Award Winning Artist Rebecca Lynn Howard and 5 Time Grammy-Award Winning Artist Juice Newton, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Champaign and Actress Aura Figueiredo (ER) offering previous Personal Management services to Collin Raye. Pat is currently developing MuzArt World Foundation, a global project with partner Ken Kragen, Founder of We Are The World, Hands Across America and Live Aid, by establishing a $2 billion dollar endowment fund to integrate music and arts education back into the public schools across the world through private funding to insure that all children have educational opportunities in music and arts. Project is being endorsed by Jackie Evancho, and Aelita Andre, 2 of the world’s most notable child prodigy stars of 2013. Additional endorsements include Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Champaign, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist/Singer-Songwriter Michael Martin Murphey, Legendary Ray Charles daughter Sheila Raye Charles and Nathan Osmond.

They are producing a concert at the LDS Conference Center to raise funds to help promote music education. This is a highly unique event because this is the first time in history the LDS Church has allowed a non-church based event to take place in the conference center. This is an awesome evening,  here are the details:


9 Nov Conference center
Tickets & details:

Multi-platinum child prodigy Jackie Evancho and a global Virtual String Orchestra conducted by, and starring Mark Wood, founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Other featured artists include multi-platinum recording artists Michael Martin Murphey, Champaign, singer songwriter Sheila Ray Charles, local artists Nathan Osmond, Lexi Walker, 6-year-old artistic prodigy Aelita Andre, the award winning American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Masa Fukuda and the One Voice Children’s Choir.



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