(ANTIMEDIA) Many studies prove how music affects the brain and how beneficial it is to the mind. It improves verbal IQ and is known to shift states of consciousness, which in turn brings upon active responses that can manifest both physically and mentally. So why is it that music education continues to be the first program on the chopping block when it comes to school budget cuts? It’s befuddling and hard to comprehend why it is always the first to go. It’s incredibly senseless, especially when you consider its overwhelming benefits and the positive effects it has on students.
Some schools are charging fees or completely abolishing the music department altogether. It appears that the budget cuts are not determined by the financial status of each individual school but rather the financial status of the state in which it is located. The states that have been affected the most are Georgia, Texas, and California.
There are many professional musicians who refer to their school years as being the most influential. They consider this time advantageous to their musicianship as their skills flourished the most during this fundamental period and helped to set the tone for their growth and potential. These types of continuous testimonials from skilled musicians of all kinds is precisely why it is so crucial that music departments across the nation stay enact and remain a primary part of education.
The US government is always spewing out propaganda about supporting education, but if we take a closer look at how the government spends our money we know this isn’t entirely true, as they squander away most of the nation’s money on corrupt endeavors like killing and spying on people. This sort of irresponsibility makes their support on education seem completely disingenuous. It’s also taking opportunities away from our children who should be getting the best education possible. There never seems to be enough money to fund schools the way they deserve, which is highly speculative considering government officials and politicians are always boasting about their monetary support in this regard. Disappointingly, statistics ranks the US as 26th in world for education. Although there are a vast number of national organizations, including government organizations, who have acknowledged how beneficial music education is, it still lacks the respect of school boards across the nation and continues to be perceived as an expendable program when school budgets get tight.
A survey by the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan division of the Library of Congress, summarizes: “Expresses the sense of the Congress that: (1) music education enhances intellectual development and enriches the academic environment for children of all ages; and (2) music educators greatly contribute to the artistic, intellectual, and social development of children, and play a key role in helping children to succeed in school. “
Additionally, a resolution of the State Senate ( H. Con. Res. 266) makes the following acknowledgement: “Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs among any group.”
Statistics are also showing the positive effects music education can have on the overall academic achievements of school students, as a 1988 National Education Longitudinal Study states: “High school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than non-musicians in the same schools.” – National Educational Longitudinal Study
Music education advocates are working overtime to prevent budget cuts and spread awareness. Advocates Alec Damiano and Anastasia Landeros collaborated on an amazing documentary film entitled “Listen” that explores the neglect of music education in the state of Arizona. It begins with a quote by Plato related to the importance of music education:
“I would teach children music, physics and philosophy;
But most importantly music,
for the patterns in music are the keys to learning.”
Clearly, music is a highly regarded form of art that is recognized as being an important part of education. This also includes visual arts and theater arts, which often walk hand in hand with the music department and are also affected by these budget cuts as well. Our world is full of beautiful music and other forms of artistic creativity. It is one of the most impressive and admirable qualities about the human race and deserves a permanent place in education.
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