Music Education At The Middle School

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It is difficult to imagine a world without music. Listening to and creating music is a fundamental part of human life and transcends language, class, cultural, and political boundaries. In recent years, many public schools across the country are cutting back on music classes in an attempt to save money. Some schools have even failed to put into place music programs for students. Without these programs, students will be deprived of the benefits of music education which include greater academic success and increased social and emotional growth. Studying music also help to develop skills that are necessary in the workplace and that lead to effective study and work habits. There are several options that will allow schools to provide students with access to music education. By considering these opportunities and working with teachers, parents, and the community, schools can work towards making music education an essential part of every student’s learning. When students enter middle school, there are often a variety of extracurricular activities for students to choose from. While some students decide to participate in sports, others choose to begin playing an instrument or singing in the choir. Without these existing music programs, many students would not have the opportunity to explore their creativity through music. Lautzenheiser (2005), a music educator who has traveled the world for more than 30 years working with music teachers and students, writes that “the majority of music literates learn music in the school setting, whether through general music classes, choir, orchestra, and/or band.” He further explains that “it is apparent if students are not part of the school music program, there is little chance they will seek to develo... ... middle of paper ... ...positively correlated with higher SAT verbal and math scores.” Researchers also found that high school students who take arts classes have higher math and verbal SAT scores than students who take no arts classes. Ruppert continues by explaining that a key aspect of this correlation is the concept of transfer, which means that “learning in one context assists learning in a different context.” The skills that students learn in music class, which include critical thinking and problem solving, can be applied to other classroom subjects as well. Research has also indicated that music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages than non-musicians in the same school. For example, high school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages than non-musicians in the same school in a 1981-82 study at Mission Viejo High School in California.
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