Due to the declining economy, school boards around the country have decided to cut funding to the music education programs. It is necessary to keep music education in the American school system because it enhances the development of skills that children will use for the rest of their lives. Musical development can start as early as before birth. Hearing is the first sense that a baby acquires and it is acquired in utero (McCutcheon 1). The first sounds that a baby hears are the mother’s voice and her heartbeat (McCutcheon 1).
A school’s curriculum stands by the three “Rs” – reading, writing, and arithmetic – but what about rhythm? Because of budget cuts, many schools throughout the United States have thrown their chorus, orchestra, and band programs into the pile of the “over” and “done with.” In multiple cases, music programs get the boot just because there are no standardized tests for it. Schools like these could not be bringing a greater injustice upon students. Music programs are special in the way that they benefit every aspect of the pupil. It has been proven that music education better shapes the mind, body, and heart of all involved, making music unique and vital to the education system.
Staff, MENC. Music educaton online. 2002. http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/benefits.html (accessed 11 29, 2011). Unknown. "Education: Twelve Benefits of Music Education."
In addition, California schools are considering removing any music requirement for graduation (American). There are two main reasons for these cuts: money and test scores (Moran, 2004). In the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act, music education has been yet again squeezed from school budgets and schedules. With pressure mounting to raise reading and math scores, school administrators have added more reading and math classes that leave little opportunity for elective courses like music (Moran, 2004). Music teacher employment has been decreased to the point that in Seattle, eleven teachers teach all of the elementary music classes in the district’s seventy schools (de Barros, 2004).
?Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have shown that the fibers in the corpus callosum, which connect the left- and right-brain hemispheres, are as much as 15 percent larger in musicians compared to nonmusicians? (Schlaug, Jancke, Huang, Staiger, & Steinmetz, 1995a). Clearly, music has an impact on students. It is a positive outlet for students to express their emotions, it enhances intellectual and social performance, and enhances the brain. The Struggle However, many administrators are blind to these positive effects, and neglect to support music education in schools.