It was our pleasure to welcome John Gerdy to Intrepid Radio! He recently joined us to discuss his book, Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment, which draws not only on relevant research and data but also John’s extensive experience in both Music and Sports. The result is a thoughtful, thorough and clear-eyed comparative analysis of the educational value of football versus music programs in providing our children an education worthy of the 21st century.
Dr. John R. Gerdy serves as founder and executive director of Music For Everyone a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the power of music as an educational and community building tool in Lancaster County. Since 2006, MFE has invested almost $1 million in school and community arts organizations and initiatives to enhance music programs in Lancaster County, PA. He has authored five books, among them, Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment (2014), Sports: The All-American Addiction (2002) and Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite Athletics (2006). He has also been extensive published in journals and periodicals such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sporting News, Black Issues in Higher Education, NCAA News and College Board Review.
We discuss the following with John on this episode:
- Why Music Education should NOT be eliminated from schools, how the programs benefit the individual students and schools
- Things that Music for Everyone (MFE) has learned about music education that every school and school district should know
- The educational requirements of the “creative economy” of the 21st century versus the “industrial economy” of the 19th and 20th centuries
- His intention in writing the book is not to “bash football”, but to highlight the need for ROI analysis when funding all educational initiatives, especially because his observation is that funding decisions are made based on “the way we have always done it”
- How a basketball team is like a jazz band, but a football team is not
- The permeation of “winning at all costs” has made football less valuable as an educational tool
- The US is the only country where the elite sports training is the responsibility of educational institutions
In Ball or Bands, author John R. Gerdy offers a thoughtful, thorough and clear-eyed comparative analysis of the educational value of football versus music programs in providing our children an education worthy of the 21st century. Drawing on relevant research and data, but also his extensive experience in both worlds, Gerdy poses a host of questions:
* Should our educational institutions be sponsoring activities that deaden and destroy brain cells and impair brain function?
* Should we continue to invest significant resources in football rather than, for example, music, which strengthens and develops neural connections and enhances brain function?
* Which extracurricular activities garner the best educational return on investment?
Be sure to get more information about John Gerdy and purchase his new book here: http://www.johngerdy.com/
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