If you’re not yet familiar with TED talks, you should be. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Through the last several years, TED and TEDx talks have been an amazing platform to bring great ideas from amazing people to the forefront of our collective consciousness, allowing a wider audience to consider them.
There are TED talks on thousands of subjects, but the ones closest to our hearts are the ones that cover music and arts education. I’ve pulled together six of them that I think every music student, parent, educator, administrator, and school board member should be familiar with. Together, they offer a portrait of how music helps to hold together the fabric of society. View them all here with one click.
This is one video I could—and have!—watch over and over again. Victor Wooten makes a compelling argument as to why music education really is for everyone, and how we should approach it.
In this video, Benjamin Zander breaks down the staying power of classical music, even for this of us who “aren’t into it.”
The charming Richard Gill takes us along on a journey exploring how music influences our creativity and imagination.
Robb Janov is a music educator who does things a bit more unconventionally. Seeing a need to capture the student who could not see themselves in a traditional band, orchestra, or choir setting, he set out to do just that.
“In its essence, the orchestra and the choir are much more than artistic structures. They are examples and schools of social life, because to sing and to play together means to intimately coexist toward perfection and excellence…This is why music is immensely important in the awakening of sensibility, in the forging of values and in the training of youngsters to teach other kids.”
— Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, the widely replicated model to achieve social change through music education
“For those living in the most dehumanizing conditions … music offers a chance for them to transcend the world around them, to remember that they still have the capacity to experience something beautiful.”
— Robert Gupta tells the riveting tale of giving lessons to the Julliard-trained violinist whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2009 movie The Soloist
Bonus: Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on how he believes modern schools are killing our children’s creativity has been viewed nearly 20 million times. It makes you wonder whether our current model of public education is working for our children.
Again, you can view them all here with one click. Are there any I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!