With the recent recession along with a high unemployment rate, it has been tough on everyone and the budget right now is going through a record braking deficit. Since times are tight right now, politicians are trying to find ways to save money and cutting out unnecessary spending by getting rid of a number of programs. One of those programs that might end up on the cutting block is music education. Here are the following reasons why slashing the music programs in this country is a horrible idea.
1. Music gives kids something to do
Any type of music program can give students something to do, especially after school. In some cases, students can’t wait to hear the school bell to ring in the afternoon, ending the day so that they can get to music class. Being a person who benefited from having a music class in my elementary school in the early 1980s(I was introduced to music in 2nd grade) from personal experience, music is a very important activity because it allowed me the chance to play an instrument and to learn about the great composers in music history (Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Wagner,Tchaikovsky,Haydn etc.)
However, if these politicians have their way, the music programs will get cut out of the school curriculum. Music programs were first cut in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving students will too much idle time on their hands and it’s no coincidence that crime, drugs and gangs exploded during the mid to late 1980s, mainly because the kids who were doing it had nothing to do after school. You used to see kids going to school carrying a music case with a flute, saxophone or guitar in their hand all the time. Now, you don’t see that too often, which is sad to say the least. It will be a total disaster if music programs are removed from school for good.
2. Music + Education = Success in the classroom
Studies have indicated that students who are in music programs fare better academically than those who are not. Being involved in music gives students a balance in their life. Also, it gives them a stronger focus, tougher discipline as well because in many cases, you will need a certain grade point average to stay in the music program, so it would not make any sense for a student to jeopardize that chance to have poor grades and drop out of the class because if that happens, then they need to work hard to get back in the program.
Recently, researchers has said that people should not look deeper in the direct correlation between music education and success in the classroom. I strongly disagree with that because music does help students out in having a balanced life; meeting new students of different races and cultures and encourages teamwork.
3. Music is used to express one’s self creatively
For example, if a student is quiet and always keep by themselves (like me), music is a great to allow them to break out of that shell. If a student is very demonstrative, they can use music to let out all that frustration or whatever is on their mind. Music programs across the country have instruments for teachers and students to play with along with computer software to compose some new tunes. In a number of cases, students cannot afford to buy an instrument, so they just play with the instruments (guitar, piano, drums, trumpet, saxophone, flute, etc.) in music class and learn something new. Also, with the computer software, students can learn how to compose music ( if the software is not available, they can used some music notation staff paper to create new compositions. Who knows, you might find the next Quincy Jones, John Williams, Carole King, Carole Bayer Sayer, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Babyface, Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Robert Plant, etc. in your own classroom.
4. Music can used as a path to a better life
Let’s just say for example, you grew up a rough neighborhood, where the job prospects are pretty low and it’s not a great place to live in. If you join and participate in a music program either at school in your local area, there is a chance you can perform in concerts across the city. Who knows, after that, you might have the chance to travel across the state to play or sing, where, you would to go various cities and towns in the United States. Next, if you, your band or group is really good, you could travel overseas to perform in concert or attend a music conference. After returning home from your trip, you realize that there’s a bigger world out there than your neighborhood.
For a number of students, they have never been anywhere outside of their neighborhood before, so this is an eye-opening experience for them. Also, music can be a ticket out of the not so pleasant environment they are currently living in. With hard work, discipline, staying focused, strong determination, and a take charge attitude, they can live the life that they have always dreamed about (having a nice looking house in a great neighborhood, a car(s), the freedom and funds to travel anywhere at anytime, etc. )
5. Music is fun
There is nothing like playing an instrument, whenever you’re 8 or 100 years old. It is always fun to learn how to play all of the various chords (C to B-Majors and Minors) different music styles ( Pop, R&B, Gospel, Blues, Latin, Funk, Boogie Woogie, Classical, Country, Dance/Disco, Reggae, New Age, Folk) or trying to figure out how to play a new song for the first time. Sure, you will get frustrated when it does not sound right when you start playing the song, but with time, patience and a regular practice schedule, you will get the tune down pat without the use of sheet music.