Music In Our Schools
Music. Many people think music is merely sound that makes us feel good. But music is much more profound than that. People use music as a source of escapism; to deviate from unpleasant realities and dive deeper into their imaginations. We celebrate with music, and we mourn with music. It is the solace in our disappointment, the well-wisher in our merriment, and the calm in the middle of the storm. Music is the most enriching and deep-felt essence in life; connecting people and allowing individuals to forge everlasting bonds with one another through their love of music, regardless of their differences or the distance between them. The National Association for Music Education has designated March as Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), a time of year when music education becomes the pivot in schools across America. It was created to display the significance of music education in the growth and development of children and the benefits that music brings to students of all ages. In honor of Music In Our Schools Month, it’s cardinal to become aware of and educate ourselves on the vast significance of music in our lives, particularly the lives of our students.
Music has immense value in all areas of education. It’s no wonder that countless totalitarian regimes and dictatorships banned music during their rule; it encouraged thinking for oneself and inspired individuality. Attempts to control or forbid music have never succeeded because music is just that impactful. Students develop essential life skills and learn lessons as music enhances their mind, creativity, and expressive ability, along with a multitude of other qualities. People underestimate the worth of music programs because they don’t see a distinguishable link between “career” goals and music. It is important to understand that the goal of music programs is not to make every music student a professional musician but to plant the seeds that will help them grow into capable individuals with the ability to think out of the box and stay in tune with their creativity. Research corroborates that students reap exceptional benefits from music programs. Learning to read music is learning a different language with conceptual sonic meaning. It promotes analytical thinking and language development. Not only do students learn how to read music, but they also learn how to execute the proper fingering and sound with the right rhythm and timing. All of this entails exceptional physical coordination. Students of music learn self-discipline and develop expression through sound. They also acquire problem-solving skills, learn how to collaborate with others, and stimulate their creative and critical minds. Music students can take the knowledge and habits they have acquired through music and apply it to their everyday lives and future careers. The more options we unveil for students to enrich their lives and minds, the more beneficial it is for society as a whole.
With the perpetual threat of budget cuts, music programs in schools have shrunk and the number of music students has dwindled. It is increasingly apparent that music and music education itself is declining. Mainstream American society views music and the arts as extra discipline that is not essential to the function of society, unaware that the arts and music palpably fill a ubiquitous void in our world, and provide infinite experiences that cannot be found elsewhere. Music is now played in the background, obstructed by screens and politics, not front and center like it once was. The joy that once was found and shared in music is now nonexistent. But not all is lost, as this plight can be reversed by saving music programs. Music programs introduce students to disparate instruments, songs, and genres that they would not have discovered otherwise. Therefore, keeping music programs alive will ultimately save music. You can do this by getting involved in your school. Students, parents, and teachers can attend important board meetings to guarantee that their music program stays alive. This means requesting more funding and hosting more activities that will spark students’ interest in the program. Furthermore, you can support your school’s music program by attending concerts and fundraisers. Concert tickets are one way of funding the music program, so the few dollars that you spend would be greatly appreciated. Not to mention, an auditorium packed with supportive and smiling faces encourages the children and shows them that their hard work and skills are valued, while also displaying to the school that music education is fundamental.
As an ardent musician and artist, it is incumbent upon me to help others learn to appreciate and delight in the art that I am so sincerely passionate about. There is so much beauty around us and music makes it all come to light. I urge everyone to promote music programs one way or another so that they can flourish and be a guiding hand for future generations like it was for us and preceding students.
“Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and everything” — Plato