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At this point in time when you are making important and influential budget and program decisions for the upcoming school year, I want to bring your attention to how important music is as a core academic subject and in providing a well-rounded education for students. As you know, the No Child Left Behind Act defines the arts as a core subject in addition to English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, history and geography (Archives). With this, the arts play an essential role in the overall learning development of children. Music is basic and should be offered to all children, K-12, and for a number of reasons. Music teaches valuable life-skills which can be applied to all facets of life. It is the one area of the curriculum that teaches dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline (Miller and Coen 460). In reading and performing music, students learn to work collaboratively in reaching goals through making music, and they also learn to develop a good work ethic along with self-motivation. They learn self-discipline through practicing and being able to take instruction and criticism. They can also develop self-confidence in “being able to perform musically, to entertain audiences, and to understand and follow a composer's intentions…one [of the many skills] that transfers into all of life's venues” (Petress). Furthermore, the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley, states that “studying music and the arts elevates children’s education, expands student’s horizons, and teaches them to appreciate the wonder of life” as he describes the influence of music education. Music provides students with the opportunity to be independent and to really focus on achievement... ... middle of paper ... .... This is very important to the students’ futures. Last but not least, research has suggested that secondary students who study music tend to perform better academically and in staying above the influence in comparison to students who are not involved with music (Catterall et al.; Texas). This contributes even more to the benefits of music education as music needs to be integrated into the curriculum. In the end, students are the most important, and providing them with a well-rounded education should be one of the primary goals. There are many more reasons as to why music needs to be offered in all schools, and the main points have been stated. I hope you will choose to continue providing this school and its students with a music education program, taught by exemplary music educators to provide students with opportunities to succeed and reach their full potential.

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