Music Education in our Public Schools Music Education is no doubt a necessity to the students of today. Music plays a major role in everyone's daily life. Music is listened to while driving in the car, when eating in restaurants, relaxing at home, and even when on hold to a company's overloaded phone system. Music is everywhere you turn, and it should be one of the main subjects to be studied in our public school systems. Public schools in America need to understand that the funding and continued study of music is just as important as the funding for math or science to produce a well rounded graduate. Public schools in America have the awesome responsibility of producing America's next generation of productive members of society.
Along with that responsibility they have the obligation to produce a well rounded individual who has an educational background in many fields. When most think about classes at school we automatically think of Math, Science, or English, unfortunately, music education is left off of that main list of classes far too often. Studies have shown that exposing small children to music will accelerate their cognitive ability far greater than the children who were not exposed to music. A study of almost 240 second grade students show that the half that received piano training scored an average of 27 percent higher on proportional and fractions math tests than the group who did not have the piano training (web). In the public school system of standardized testing and never ending required classes, music seems to have slipped through the cracks.
If a school system is trying to produce a well rounded individual, music education is a must in the curriculum. Music education is one of humanity's seven intelligences. If one area of intelligence is ignored, then a student has lost that sense of themselves. This loss is a major burden of the public school system that must be addressed.
Another shortcoming of the public schools system, which is regrettably apparent to both music educators and students alike are the priorities for funding school programs are non-educational. In several public school systems in Central Ohio, when their respective levies failed to pass, each school board decided to fund non-academic programs such as football, basketball and other programs alike. However, while the school found money to be able to compete in sporting events, music education was completely taken off of the curriculum. This practice is almost unbelievable considering that the No Child Left behind Act passed by congress in 2001 specifically states, "Music education is a core academic subject" (NCLB). Music education is not only the study of rhythms and note patterns; music education is the chance to study an art form that is new and different each and every time it is practiced or performed. Musically educated students not only have a better understanding of the fine arts than other students, but have a more critical eye and ear for everything around them.
Music education is a gateway for a greater understanding of the world we live in. Not only does music give students a more alert outlook or more critical mind on the word around them, it also gives musicians a better understanding of themselves. It gives them the confidence to know that they have accomplished something beautiful. Also, in sharing that accomplishment with others, in a medium such as a concert or recital, it allows them to open up musically and emotionally to others. This in turn makes a more emotionally healthy person. It has also been proven that students, who have taken music classes in school, not only have an understanding of a subject that other students don't, but their test scores in conventional classes, especially math and science, are significantly higher than students who have taken no form of music education.
This fact is reaffirmed according to The College Board: High school students score higher on SAT in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001 SAT takers with coursework / experience in music performance scored fifty seven points higher on the verbal portion of the test and forty-one points higher on the math portion than students with no course work / experience in the arts (web). For public schools to ignore the fact that music helps students in all of their classes is not just irresponsible, but is almost unthinkable, considering they are the ones who are responsible for furthering their student's educational well-being. Music education is a subject that has been taken for granted by many school districts over the years. In many districts, non-educational programs have taken place over the unpopular music program that has been cut from the curriculum altogether.
It may be that music has not taken a forefront in the public school system of today: however, music is now beginning to gain the respect that it needs. Music is not just a subject that is taught, tested and then forgotten, it is a subject with life qualities and expect ances. Music education demands discipline and dedication to the subject to gain the full understanding of the music world. Maybe that is one reason that schools are afraid to embrace the idea that music is needed in our education system today. Music may not be thought as on one of the main classes in our public schools, but if it were treated as one, schools would produce students who are well rounded and excel and most everything from classes to life. Music education is a subject with immense possibilities of furthering American student's educational success.
This idea has even brought its attention to Capital Hill, according to the words of U. S. Senator Jeff Bingaman from New Mexico: Music education can be a positive force on all aspects of a child's life, particularly on their academic success. The study of music by children has been linked to higher scores on the SAT, ACT, and other aptitude tests, and has proven to be an invaluable tool in the classroom across our country. Given the impact music can have on our children's education, we should support every effort to bring music into their classrooms. (web) Works Cited American Music Conference, Music Research National Association of Music Merchants press release, "Support Music." March 12, 2003.
February 21 2005 United States Congress. U. S. Dept.
of Education. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Singed into law by President Bush.