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Fill The Cup Of Silence: This Is A Problem/Solution Paper Concerning Music Education

1137 words - 5 pages

"You know music education is something very dear to my heart. When I was in high school I had music teacher, a wonderful man named Virgil Sperling who taught me a lot more than scales and keys and how to hold a steady note on the saxophone. He taught me about patience and practice, hard work and dedication and teamwork. The music I made on that first tenor saxophone of mine wasn't always beautiful to the ear--my mother can certainly testify to that. But as I learned and improved, I came to understand how important a musical instrument can be as an outlet for creativity, for ideas and emotions that only music can express." (William Clinton)It is no secret that standardized testing scores of students of all ages have seen a decline in recent times. However, school boards seem to be taking a step in the wrong direction. More and more schools have been forced to cut back on music and other art departments, some to the point of extinction; this is not the answer, rather creating a bigger problem.Children who had received piano keyboard instruction scored thirty-four percent higher than the others on tests designed to measure spatial-temporal reasoning. Because these functions are critical components in the understanding of subjects like mathematics, science and engineering, this body of research has significant implications for public education policy. (Joan Schmidt; Research, Music and Policy Debates)This, however, is not the standard, not even close to being average. One American school in five fails to offer music or art classes - even once a week - according to an Education Department study. Even at schools where the courses are offered, not everyone takes part. For example, only one in four eighth graders reported being asked to sing or play a music instrument at least once a week according to results of the first National Assessment of Educational Progress in the arts in 1997.But what can be done? How can one person make a difference? It only takes one domino to tip them all.Educators and parents can unite with other teachers on the music staff. The music staff must be unified with itself, totally committed to providing the highest caliber of music education for children. Be sure your actions are always student-centered. The "I don't want to lose my job" approach is not as effective as the potential lost benefits to children. You are not alone. Get to know your music parents, community officials, business leaders, etc. A unified effort involving multiple community resources creates a strong and powerful force. Use numbers to your advantage. Music is offered to all students, so use the total number of students enrolled in public (or private) schools when discussing the benefits of music education. Define your purpose. Develop a mission statement. Succinctly state your purpose for involvement in music education. Get to know your administrator, school board members, and school counselors. Send them invitations to concerts. Ask them how they feel...

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