Increase Funding for Music and Arts in US Public Schools
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Hello, my name is Cameron Dang, and I am a freshman in high school. Being a proud student of US public schools, I have always appreciated the US diverse cultural imprint that spans the world, led in large part by our popular culture expressed in music, movies, and television.
I am not a professional musician, but I've played a little violin and piano over the years. I am quite privileged to be able to play music without having to worry about private lesson fees, to provide for my own instruments, or to fundraise for my own lessons.
That said, I would like to share with you a story which I was entirely moved by: a public school music teacher who has gone far above and beyond her call of duty to teach and fundraise for her students.
Her class of about 220 students is funded with a mere $500 per year. That is about $2 per student for an entire year. This is no way enough to support a music class.
But that’s how Ms. Choi has been going for over many years now.
Public schools have frequently been victim to funding cuts. If they ever get more money, it is usually allocated to other subjects within the school, such as those which would focus on helping students passing standardized tests. These are very important, and any additions of funds are always applauded. However, music and arts are very rarely given the proper funding. For students and teachers to have to go out of their way to fund for their class, and sometimes, to have the teachers take money straight out of their pockets to fund the basic necessities for the class, is quite disappointing and upsetting.
The next generation needs arts and music – and many studies show long-term, life-long benefits for kids engaging and playing instruments. I am paraphrasing Ms. Theresa Wright's writing from her current fundraising campaign for Ms. Choi:
"Music changes lives, inspires humanity, and is the highest form of creativity. It helps kids in so many ways, including increasing memory skills, teaching perseverance, giving them a sense of achievement and satisfaction, improving coordination skills and math skills, improving their reading and comprehension abilities, giving them a sense of purpose, responsibility, nurturing self-expression and a love of art and music, enriching imagination. Music has been shown to improve with both listening and social skills as well as with teamwork."
Music and arts are often overlooked, especially in public schools. As a single person, I cannot make the most significant impact. I am now asking you for your help and support to raise awareness of the importance of arts and music. Being a citizen of the United States, a dominant force in the entertainment industry, I would hope that music and arts would be emphasized in a student's learning. Even if that is not yet the case, I hope we can achieve that soon. One example is by signing this petition for increasing funding for music and arts in public schools. I would like to ask you also to read this teacher's moving story and help to share or donate to her cause.
Please sign the petition, click the link below, and help share. Music Matters.
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