Tag Archives: music education

Jeff Coffin

Jeff Coffin Returns to High School to Support Music Education

Jeff CoffinSaxophonist and Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band paid a surprise visit to music students and their teacher at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire. Coffin performed with the school’s concert band, spoke to students, and together with Yamaha, presented them with a new Yamaha YX-500F xylophone valued at more than $4,000. Coffin, who attended Spaulding High School, recalled his friendships and lessons learned from his time spent in Rochester.

The event was a joint effort by Yamaha in conjunction with DonorsChoose.org—a nonprofit that accepts donations large and small from individuals and institutions providing aid so far to 659 public school programs all over the country. Yamaha has matched 3,000 citizen donations, contributing $250,000 to $500,000 worth of instruments, affecting the lives of about 163,000 music students and nearly 700 teachers.

According to Lisa MacDonald, director of marketing for Yamaha Corporation of America, awareness and inspiration are just as important as equipment. “We hope music lovers everywhere will follow his lead and investigate how they can help a music teacher in their area,” she says. “Supporting a music program is an investment in the success of our children as well-rounded human beings.”



Music Education Benefits Teenage Students

There have been many studies indicating the positive impact that learning music can have on the cognitive abilities of young children. A new study from a research team led by Nina Kraus of Northwestern University, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that music training, even when begun in the adolescent years, has significant cognitive, emotional, and behavioral benefits for students.

They followed a group of teenage students from low-income neighborhoods around Chicago and tested them just before their freshman year and during their senior years. Nineteen of the students were engaged in musical training and 21 of the students participated in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Testing focused on language skills and sounds. The music group that studied music showed more rapid maturation in the brain’s response to sound and heightened brain sensitivity to sound details, compared to those enrolled in JROTC.

These results could prove valuable when evaluating the need for public school music programs, which are increasingly begun at a later age due to budget cuts.

Clayton Cameron

Drummer Clayton Cameron Used Math to Impress James Brown

Clayton Cameron of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) has drummed with Sammy Davis Jr, and has also recorded 15 albums with Tony Bennett. He’s a skilled drummer for sure, but he says his secret is how understanding math has increased his drumming capability. He explains on NPR how he used math to impress James Brown, who was known for not liking what other drummers played in his band. Cameron was pleased to report he was met with a satisfied Brown as he told Cameron “that was funky.”

Clayton Cameron gave a Ted Talk about using math with drumming to explain drumming in a new way to children. He breaks down the style of drumming into musical measures to which he then explains using mathematical terms. A style he coined as “A-Rhythm-Etic” Watch the video and see how a new way to look at drumming may open up new ways to play.