“The music community, and especially informal music education, can do wonders for improving children’s self esteem and for helping them build identity and character,” said Swietlik. “All of the organizations did this through different means but they had similar results: The children were becoming more proud and functioning citizens within society. They were kids that could dream, kids that could see a future.”
You can talk about test scores and GPAs and neurons ’til you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day this is what it all comes down to. Kids that can dream, kids that can see a future.
ASU alum enacts positive change in communities through music | ASU News
“It cultivated us. It educated us,” Questlove said of his high school arts experience. “This is more than just pay it forward or celeb guilt. This is necessary. … It keeps you out of trouble. It helps develop your personality. If you take that away, you’re just a machine.”
And just like that, Questlove easily articulates the true value of music education better than almost anyone I’ve come across.
The Roots Are Taking Our Failing Music Education System Into Their Own Hands – Mic
Russ Whitehurst, an education policy expert at the Brookings Institution, says he thinks the statistics about music education say something different. He points to a 2010 U.S. Department of Education report that found 94 percent of public elementary schools offer some kind of music classes, even if hours are being cut back in many places … “I think music teachers are crying wolf, largely, if you look at the national trends.”
Amazing. “Some kind of music classes” could mean literally anything. Blowing on a recorder twice a week. Learning an Orff instrument one quarter and not touching it again for an entire year. Just singing for a couple minutes when there’s an opening in homeroom. Students deserve better than “some kind” of music education.
Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores : NPR
The entirety of music education, encapsulated in four sentences:
I’d love to believe we all could make the case based on the intrinsic value we gain as individuals or the increased connections we make. It was reported that after the Columbine shootings, those who participated in the drama program were found to be those who healed and reconnected fastest. For these kids it was the only thing that brought them back from that tragedy. However, the bureaucrats speak in test scores and metrics, and we as arts educators need to wage this battle as well.
GRAMMY Awards honor is just the beginning, according to Lou Spisto | Communities Digital News
Professors from Florida, Michigan, and others offer their answers to this question with surprising variety. Some I’m on board with:
Due to a lack of state level policy regarding music education, many children have no music teacher in their school building. Although there are rich opportunities for outside of school community music in the United States, many children cannot afford to pay for music instruction outside of the school setting. Citizens interested in making a difference in music education must advocate for a well-prepared, certified music teacher in every school building.
While others have me scratching my head:
The most important issue in music education today is one that has existed for as long as has formal music education: assessment.
What is the most important issue in music education today? | OUPblog.
Judy Guenseth: Music pays big dividends for kids
Our community does a good job of providing opportunities to listen to great choral and instrumental music including providing free opportunities to students. Let’s do more in the area of promoting early childhood music experiences and finding affordable ways of providing early musical education for all children. It is an enrichment that plays big dividends. Hans Christian Anderson said it well, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
As far as legitimate reasons for getting kids involved in music go, Ms. Guenseth steps foot onto somewhat shaky ground. But I can’t argue with this conclusion.