Ben Folds On Music Education - Nashville Arts Magazine | The Official Ben Folds Site


Oct 4, 2012

Nashville Arts Magazine recently spoke with Ben Folds, who has spent years advocating for music programs in public schools. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

NAM: What inspires your fight for music education?

BF: It’s the typical reason that any of us as musicians find ourselves into it—because we know the importance of it. For me, it provided so much more than a background in music. It was an extra set of tools for logic and reason—and having other kids that were into it. It was everything.

NAM: Why do you think that music education has drawn so much attention as a cause?

BF: On the whole, we know what the stats say about improvement of other scores, and a lot of us don’t want to see a major pillar of our education system cut off for very shortsighted reasons. And there are so many kids who can improve their math and their history and their social skills through music. Everything can be improved by having something they are successful at, like music. So that’s going to catch a certain kind of kid and save their life.

Read more at Nashville Arts Magazine.

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I also concur, yesterday was a very long and emotional day for everyone. The Hornets performed their show, bends and folds, with great pride and professionalism and it showed through each and everyone of them.They were the first band of 20 in their class at semi-state to perform, and they set the bar very high for the rest of the day. It is an honor to be chosen to perform at Marching State Finals, as Indiana has a very competitive marching band program, and these young students shined. [The weekend before this at competition they received the caption award for best music] I also hope with your very busy schedule, that you could make the time to come and see them next Saturday Nov. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at the Marching Band State Finals, as your music has been so much of their hard work and motivation. I also will help to pay for your tickets to see this fine group.

I would like to update the progression of the Beech Grove Marching Hornets: After performing at the semi-state competition, the Hornets were selected to represent at state finals as 1 of the top 10 school bands in their class. I agree that the show 'Bends and Folds' is an emotional one. The kids have fun performing the music and enjoy not only the marching, but also the experiences of hard work and ultimate success!
If you guys, Ben, Darren, and/or Robert, are able to make it to Indianapolis for the Marching Band State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 3, 2012, I will personally buy your admission tickets to show how your music has impacted the lives of this fine assembly of gifted young students. Also, they would be more than thrilled to get a chance to connect to someone who has made an dramatic impact on their lives, aside from the parents and directors, of course. My offer is genuine and I hope that you are able to travel to watch this amazing show!

Thank you so much for your contribution to music education, as music has been a part of me my whole life. I graduated high school in 1975 and was in choir, Marching Band and concert band all through High School. They are some of the best memories I still carry with me . My oldest son was in show choir through high school, and my middle son and youngest daughter were both in marching and concert band. I spent every fall of 8 years volunteering as chaperone, pit and prop mom for every marching competition. Now I am the proud grandmother of 2 grandsons (the youngest who is in 7th grade, was invited up to the high school level to march) who are in the Beech Grove Hornet Marching Band in Indianapolis, performing your music in their show Bends and Folds. They performed at Regional Competition this evening and received a Gold Rating and are going on to semi-state in 2 weeks. It really is an awesome show, and brings me to tears when they perform. I really hope you get a chance to see it live, and to let you know how much your music means to us.