Following a week as an artist-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, USA, Todd Rundgren spoke to the South Bend Tribune about the importance of music education and the Spirit of Harmony Foundation.
Budget cuts in the USA have led to schools getting rid of music and arts education across the country. Todd Rundgren, the American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and record producer, says he feels fortunate that he grew up in a time when music education was considered important.
In an effort to counter the decimation of music education programmes in the USA, Rundgren founded the Spirit of Harmony Foundation in 2013.
“Our particular focus is the idea of getting music education into the earliest years of schooling, because of the effect that education has on the way the human brain processes sound,” he says. “Even if you don’t go on to become a musician, you have acquired essentially a faculty that will be useful for you the rest of your life. Aside from all of the other manifest benefits of music — the idea that it develops teamwork and it keeps kids off of the street and all of that other stuff — it actually does have an effect on the brain.”
Rundgren emphasizes that music education is vital for brain development, especially in early childhood. “That early musical education certainly was important to me,” he says. “I was lucky to live in a musical household. My parents both loved music. There was always music playing, a lot of different kinds of music.”