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Music Education

Music classes have always been part of a student's life since grade school. However, few people know how these classes became part of a person's primary education. Music education in the US can actually be traced way back to the seventeenth century when music became an important part of the lives of the Pilgrims that were in the Northern Colonies. While there was no formal music education back then, these Northern colonists succeeded in teaching basic music skills needed for psalm singing.

The following centuries, the 18th and 19th centuries, saw the growth of music education with the creation of the first ever singing school in Boston in 1717. This was established to create a marked improvement in the art of singing as well as in the reading of music in churches. Theories in music and music teaching techniques flourished in the 1800s with the creation of the Academy of Music in Boston. The main focus of this music school was to teach singing and to educate people in the ways that singing and music can be improved.

This was also the same century where music education was first introduced to elementary schools. The 19th century also saw the integration of music classes in other educational levels as well, with the city of Boston becoming the prime example of music education nationwide.

The 20th century saw the emergence of a Degree in Music in the Oberlin Conservatory. Aside from the Music Education Degree, a string of other notable events that would firmly plant music in the educational system of the United States also happened in this century. The development of a Music Educators' Conference was established. Music methods publications enjoyed an increase in numbers and band and choral organizations were created. These all paved the way for the creation of a Music Education Standard that is widely used in numerous schools nationwide. While some schools opted to create their own standards, they are still patterned in a way after this general list of standards that the MENC created.

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