Does Music Education Really Make Us Smarter?

Is music really being cut more than other subjects or programs in Iowa?
Why do we even need music in our education?

This week’s Iowa Journal answers those questions.

Who should teach music?
Is there a playbook for what to cut and is music always the target?
Does music make us smarter?

We get into good discussions on a couple of these topics tonight.

Kevin Fangman is the interim director of the Iowa Department of Education. We ask him what role music plays in the Iowa Core Curriculum. Esther D’Agrosa got questions about music educator training. Esther taught school and also teachers in her classrooms (Yes Amanda, she remembers you but says you still have a paper due). She now does professional development presentations in teaching music and reading. Dianne Franken spent most of her education in New Jersey but has since moved back to Iowa. She’s based out of Davenport and is the executive director of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education.

Our discussion follows a look inside a kindergarten classroom in Council Bluffs and Simon Estes. Estes has retired from singing professionally and now is in the classroom as well in Ames at Iowa State University and in Waverly at Wartburg College. To all my Wartburg friends, wouldn’t he have been fun to have on our Australian Tour with the Castle Singers?

Producer Nancy Brown travelled to Council Bluffs and Ames for the story.

See this show at 8p Thursday, Friday at 630p and Saturday morning on IPTV World or our .3 channel. The show will also live on

The full background on this piece lives here.

Next week we are talking the economy. We went to Carroll this week to look at how that city has bucked the trend and actually been hiring at many places. Then we’ll reconvene our economic roundtable team for that discussion. Is Carroll leading the way or an island in this economic situation.

You can also watch last week’s candidates for Iowa governor seeking the republican nomination debate. It was part of the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s annual convention. There is no confirmation this debate caused Terry Branstad to get a minor heart procedure done. That was probably Todd Dorman’s questions. Or someone’s answers? You decide.

The Journal Monkey got to eat at El Chisme in Des Moines today. He was quite excited at their Mexican and Italian menu options. Tell Jesus hello from IPTV when you get in the door.

Excuse me, it is time to take Noah to Kindermusik.


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