Music Education

Music has played a significant part of virtually every culture on earth. Music is a uniquely human form of communication that can be produced through a number of media. In the past, music was taught along with arithmetic, language, science and other core subjects. The Philosopher Plato stated “I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for in the patterns of music and all the arts are the keys of learning.”

Research reveals that when young people study the arts they show heightened academic standing, a strong capacity for self-assessment, and a secure sense of their own ability to plan and work for a positive future. An evaluation of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s (NJSO) Newark Early Strings Program, which provides instruction in string instruments to students in elementary schools shows “Early strings has had a positive effect on participating students’ self confidence, discipline, socialization and ability to focus”. NJSO’s Vice President of Education and Community Programs notes that “Besides teaching them (children) how to play a string instrument and exposing them to the joy and disciplines of classical music, the program is very quickly demonstrating a strong positive impact on their behavioral patterns, their academic experience and their feelings of self-worth”. (U.S. Newswire, September 9, 2003)

American Educational systems that are struggling to meet federal standards; budget shortfalls and lack of qualified teachers often are not able to maintain a music program. Thus, an entire generation is at risk of not receiving training in music. With all of the other issues that school systems have to deal with today, lack of music instruction may seem like it does not even belong on the problem list. However, it is through creative expression that we can find the passion of our hearts. It would be a tremendous loss to our current and future school children if they were to miss the opportunity to express themselves through music.