Foremost, music education’s tendency to improve performance in other core subjects, such as Math and English, must be recognized. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who actively participate in music programs during middle and high school showed higher levels of achievement in mathematics by 12th grade, and especially those students who played an instrument were twice as likely to excel in math as students who did not take music classes. Christopher Johnson, Associate Dean of the Fine Arts at Kansas University, identifies a reason for increased focus and achievement caused by musical education. “When you sit down and do a standardized test you are on task trying to concentrate for a long time. And there’s not really a lot of things in schools that require you to do that. You can do a couple of math problems, get off task, look at the wall….But if you zone out in band you’re likely to be playing a solo.” Students who are deeply involved in the arts during high school are also three times more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree than their peers who were not involved in the arts. As research demonstrates, at least two years of musical training are vital for good retai...
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...tively express themselves and their creativity, and to learn exceptional social skills.
The arts must be be a priority in schools so that every student has the opportunity to excel. Studies suggest that the arts improve not only standardized test scores, but students’ all-around success in academics. Involvement in the arts not only motivates students, but improves their quality of life by increasing the odds that they will advance to higher education and be involved in the community. The arts allow students to be expressive and improve their social skills, and give young people a safe and positive way to perform for an audience. In the wise words of Martin Luther, “I always loved music; whoso has skill in this art is of good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools; a schoolmaster ought to have skill in music, or I would not regard him.”
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