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The Arts Make Us Smarter

Michael Green, President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. spoke eloquently on music education during his presentation on the Grammy Awards on Wednesday, February 24, 1999.  Following are excerpts from his speech.
Michael Green:
Good evening folks, and on behalf of the recording academy we hope you're enjoying the forty first annual Grammy awards. There's over a billion of you out there in more than a hundred and eighty countries. You're the fans, you're the music lovers, the main reason that we're all here tonight. . . So from all of us here, to all of you, our partners, a great big thank you.
This partnership between you and the arts grows stronger every year in new and exciting ways. Recent groundbreaking scientific research astounds us, building upon a compelling body of evidence that music is fundamental.
Music is magic. Music therapists prove every single day that music is powerful medicine. Tearing down the walls of silence and affliction of Alzheimer's, depression, Parkinson's and autism. And did you know that kids who study the arts, do an average of forty points higher in math and science? Yep. And that music education is superior to even computer instruction in enhancing early childhood mental capacity and spacial intelligence.
Soon the academy is going to be announcing a groundbreaking nationwide program in support of early childhood development. Seeing to it that mothers of newborns leave the hospital with a very, very special resource kit. It includes education materials, and a classical CD produced specifically to help build the very fertile minds of newborns.
And we're also pleased that the academy had joined with first lady Hilary Rodham Clinton to celebrate the Arts Through Education program. This will ensure that the arts will be made available for every child with special emphasis on those kids who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Because the arts provide self-esteem, self-reliance and instill hope in these very places where hope and dreams are in short, short supply. So let's fight for the arts because the arts advance our society, they speak to the soul, they bring different cultures together, and now we know, they just make us a lot smarter.
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