Music Should be Available to ALL Children in Schools
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Children should be able to learn how to play an instrument or learn about music in schools, despite the costs that may come with this vital education. Music can change people’s lives emotionally, academically, and mentally. Music has even changed my own life.
Having music within a school has plenty of cognitive benefits. Scientists measured the brain activity of various people while they played an instrument. A video from TED Ed. explained how results showed that it “engage[ed] practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices”. This is much to the equivalent of a full body workout for the brain, and since both hemispheres of the brain are being used, playing a musical instrument is literally forging new pathways. TED Ed. added, “Playing music has been found to increase the volume an activity of the brain’s corpus callosum (which is the bridge between both hemispheres of the brain).”
Music within the school setting improves children’s academics. The NAMN foundation stated, “Children who study music tend to possess larger vocabularies and display more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music”, and “Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community” (Nature Neuroscience, April 2007). Therefore, music is proven to make a difference in the academics of the musicians.
Just listening to music alone can have psychological benefits. There is a reason why music is useful for its therapeutic properties.
According to NAMN, music has been around for a long time, evolving from generation to generation. Continuing historical education, music remains an artform taught to children in some schools. For example, music is offered at all grade levels within my school district. Sadly, many other people are not as lucky. Several schools all over the world have cut music programs, and it is imperative that it stops. Music has been with me through the difficult times of my life, and it is my goal to give everyone the opportunity and chance to learn an instrument.
My father frequently expresses how he is one of the unlucky ones. He is a very strong and intelligent man, but he has one main regret in life. He still wishes he knew how to play an instrument. I asked him why, and he explained “Music fills my heart with joy and lights up my brain, and I feel at peace when I hear music that I enjoy”. As a National Board Certified Math Teacher, he also explained that musicians often display better reasoning skills and pattern recognition in his classroom, so he too wants to ensure that music is offered to children in schools all around the world.
The main reason why schools across the globe are cutting music education is “budget deficits”. There is plenty of discussion on whether or not music education makes any sense on a financial level. It costs money for an orchestra to be entered into a concert or to rent busses for travel, etc. Additionally, music does not bring in as much money as per se a football game would raise. There is plenty of fundraising for football, sports, and other extracurricular activities. If there is more fundraising for music, then it could become financially feasible to support in schools. If parents are generally willing to pay a nominal fee to attend a sporting event, then perhaps parents are willing to pay a similar fee to attend concerts. Furthermore, many sporting events and our local Philharmonic promote concession stands, which is an additional avenue to obtain funding to support music education. Finally, a research study can be conducted to compare student achievement once additional programs are implemented.
If you believe all students deserve equal opportunity to obtain an engaging and effective education, please sign this petition.
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