In many schools across the country, priorities seem to be not entirely together. Take a look through any elementary or high school curriculum and you’re bound to see that in addition to the old necessity subjects like mathematics, language arts, and social studies, there is a growing emphasis on test preparation. Every school is struggling to climb the ranks, and the main way that this is done in public schools is through standardized test scores. Thus, students are spending countless hours focusing on a curriculum that simply trains them to get high marks on a few exams without developing their intellect in any significant ways. Music is one of many subjects being pushed to the wayside in this trend.
An education in music has many benefits that people fail to recognize when school funding for these programs gets lifted onto the chopping block. Music is one of the oldest and greatest forms of art, and without an education in the arts our children cannot expect to grow up into well rounded intelligent people. Some of the greatest revolutionaries in history have been artists and musicians, and unless we illuminate this world to our children, we essentially sentence them to a lifetime of ignorance and an incomplete world view.
Music also happens to be very mathematically oriented. Students who excel in music often improve their skills in mathematics simultaneously. By learning to follow complex rhythms, divide measures systematically, and recognize tones, children who study music are actively putting mathematical knowledge into practice. The harmonies created by musical notes counterpointing one another stem from mathematical frequency values caused by the ringing tones. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach was especially mathematical, combining intricate melodies into numerical patterns in order to create music that is beautiful in both its artistry and its complexity. In a great many ways, music really is math at heart.
Students who are exposed to music education are open to a world of benefits that they may otherwise miss. When students are trained in music at school, they tend to perform better in their other classes. The majority of a day in elementary school can be quite boring. Something as interesting and engaging helps to keep the students alive and fresh, inspiring them to perform better in all of their academic requirements. This time dedicated to musical activity helps children develop lasting friendships as well as endowing them with valuable skills that will be a blessing for the rest of their lives.
As music programs are cut from the curriculum, everybody loses. Children are missing out on opportunities to develop skills, find a craft that they truly enjoy, and enhance their performance in the classroom. Meanwhile, unemployed masters of music education find it increasingly difficult to find work in a world that seems to have no use for them. It would be an endless sadness to see music education disappear from our schools–a bad situation with no bright side. Remember the benefits of music education in school for your children, and fight to protect it.