Originally posted on the Daily Edventures Blog.

“Music is such a beautiful community builder,” says multi-platinum musician Gavin DeGraw. “One of the most popular ways people relate to one another is through the music they listen to. It’s one of the most important foods of your life.” Indeed, music has played an integral part of DeGraw’s entire life. He grew up in a musical family where he was, “raised to regard music as part of the fabric of everyday life rather than a remote show-business ideal.”

DeGraw believes so strongly in the power of music in education, he has lobbied Congress to save school music programs. And as a VH1 Save the Music Ambassador, DeGraw is keenly aware of the impact music has on learning outcomes for students. DeGraw works to raise awareness about the importance of music education in a young person’s life, as well as to help raise funds to restore instrumental music education programs in U.S. public elementary and middle schools. According to VH1, “research consistently demonstrated that students who study an instrument enhance their critical thinking skills and their ability to work together as a team. They are more engaged in school and less likely to drop out; and they do significantly better in all of their academic endeavors.”  Anthony Salcito recently spoke with DeGraw about the role music plays in learning and our shared cultural experience.