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The Importance Of Music Education Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

Over 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in The Republic that the two branches of education were Music and Gymnastics. Plato declared that if a person studied music, then that person would have the whole academic side of education covered. So, if music education has been deemed important enough to have survived since the time of the ancient Greeks, why is it now one of the first subjects to be cut from school budgets? In order to guarantee all-around success for every student, the arts must remain in every school’s curriculum.
Foremost, music education’s tendency to improve performance in other core subjects, such as Math and English, must be recognized. According to the U.S. Department of Education, students who actively participate in music programs during middle and high school showed higher levels of achievement in mathematics by 12th grade, and especially those students who played an instrument were twice as likely to excel in math as students who did not take music classes. Christopher Johnson, Associate Dean of the Fine Arts at Kansas University, identifies a reason for increased focus and achievement caused by musical education. “When you sit down and do a standardized test you are on task trying to concentrate for a long time. And there’s not really a lot of things in schools that require you to do that. You can do a couple of math problems, get off task, look at the wall….But if you zone out in band you’re likely to be playing a solo.” Students who are deeply involved in the arts during high school are also three times more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree than their peers who were not involved in the arts. As research demonstrates, at least two years of musical training are vital for good retainment of knowledge and for excellent memory. In a study by the Dana Foundation, students who went through fifteen weeks of musical training showed enhanced sound discrimination, as well as improvement in fine motor skills. Brain imaging showed that there was actually development to the parts of the brain that these abilities were related to. Countless studies have revealed the positive academic side-effects of music education, and the public would be extremely foolish to overlook these.
In addition, the arts must also be recognized as an invaluable resource in improving the all-around quality of life of those students involved. People who were part of their school’s band or orchestra show the least alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use of any group in our society. According to the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts report, high school students who were involved in the arts were also consistently involved with local and school politics and volunteered on a regular basis. Education in the arts promotes problem-solving and creativity skills as well. As said by Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, “Education in the arts is more important than ever. In the global economy, creativity is essential…. To succeed...

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