A Statement on the Importance of Maintaining Classroom Music in America’s Schools
As America prepares to elect its next President and Congress, the providers and supporters of sequential, standards-based music education encourage all policymakers to maintain a strong educational foundation for student success in our schools. Music education is an important element of comprehensive education, as recognized in federal education legislation. The Music Education Policy Roundtable remains committed to protecting and growing music programs in our nation’s schools.
With record deficits at national and state levels, music educators understand the difficulties elected officials and administrators face in maintaining the proper curricular balance in the classroom. During a time of increased focus on the implementation of math and reading score-based accountability systems, teacher evaluation reform, and charter school growth, however, it is more important than ever that the national education conversation remain balanced, and also include music education.
The benefits of a high-quality classroom music experience are boundless:
- The intellectual and technical skills developed through music education lead to more comprehensive brain development, which contributes to academic achievement in other areas, such as math and reading;
- The honing of self expression and creativity, which not only helps keep students in school but also motivates them to work harder in other classes and assists them with becoming more actively involved in the community as adults;
- Performance opportunities that encourage and nurture lifelong connections and an appreciation for the arts;
- Enhanced teamwork prowess, discipline, and problem solving skills, all of which aid in molding better employees and citizens; and
- A profoundly positive influence on students in disadvantaged communities.
The “hollowing out” of school music programs and declining access to music education for our neediest students poses a serious threat to the American education experience. In response, The Music Education Policy Roundtable made public its Legislative Agenda. We encourage its wide dissemination. When Congress returns in 2013, The Roundtable will be ready and willing to engage both majority and minority leaderships in dialogue focused upon new ways to join together in tackling the challenges facing the future of music education.
Working with our country’s leadership, the members of The Music Education Policy Roundtable believe that collaborating on a new education agenda, one of which policymakers are mindful of all core components required to produce a successful classroom learning experience, is imperative. America’s music educators look forward to tackling this challenge, while continuing to orchestrate success for students all across the nation!
Sincerely, The Music Education Policy Roundtable