The Music In Children

December 20, 2007
Music is a crucial element of culture all around the world. Yet schools all around the country have deemed music programs unnecessary. Music stimulates the mind, it supplies an emotional outlet for students, and it generates necessary social skills. Does any of that sound expendable?

Music is able to stimulate the human brain. According to the Harris Interactive poll of high school principals, 2006, schools that have a music program have an 18% higher graduation rate than schools that do not. The Christopher M. Johnson and Jenny E. Memmott, Journal of research in Music Education, 2006 shows students who take a high-quality music course score an average of 21% higher on the English and math portions of standardized tests than students taking an insufficient music class. The Midland Chemist has reported that by the time of 2005, about 99% of students who have ever won awards in the Seimens Westinghouse academic competition in the subjects of math and science play a musical instrument.

Music creates an emotional outlet for angry and frustrated students. The Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report has proven that students who have participated in a band or orchestra have a lower probability of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. America’s Performing Art: A Study of Choruses, Choral Singers, and their Impacts found that anyone who has participated or is participating in a choir has a 32% higher chance of participating in voluntary community service than those that choose not to participate in a choir. Music has augmented the self-esteem of highly troubled students, reducing their chances of committing criminal acts.

Music is able to increase a child’s social skills, so they interact better with other people wherever they go. Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee declares, “Ask a CEO what they are looking for in an employee and they say they need people who understand teamwork, people who are disciplined, [and] people who understand the big picture. You know what they need? They need musicians.” Think about it: when people put a play together they are constructing their leadership skills; they are learning cooperation. Music gives children a way to interact with each other, a way for shy children to make friends.
Why should administrators ban a crucial program while they build a new computer lab? Is enhancing the lunch program worth the cost of eliminating music? Why not hold a fundraiser to save music? What is keeping school boards from saving music?
If you were a parent would you want your child to lose something important? When schools cut music programs students are being denied the ability for their brain to function at full capacity, they are losing an outlet for their emotions, and they will not perform their best socially. The music needs to stay in children. As President John F. Kennedy said, “The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of the nation, is close to the center of a nation’s purpose - and is a test to the quality of a nation’s civilization.”

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