Music Education "Has Fallen On Black Days"

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an essay about the importance and state of Music Education today

Submitted: April 05, 2011

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Submitted: April 05, 2011



Music Education Has “Fell On Black Days”


Copyright 2009

Quiet is all you hear nowadays in schools, whereas a few years ago you could hear beautiful music. In my many days as a student I have heard many arguments as to whether we should keep music education or we should take the money invested there and spend it on other educational programs. Without music education many students would not function properly. Programs such as VH1 Save the Music are calling for the investment towards 1,700 public schools music programs, schools such as PS 58 in Brooklyn, New York where the program first was formed. You may ask who cares or why should we waste time on music education, but without these programs we would be denying future musicians their chance to shine. The reasons that the lacks of funds on the music education of the schools are having negative effects on students are: students who want to take band and get feedback on their music in schools would have to find other options, schools that don’t get the proper funding for the musical departments musical instruments get cut back and get severely underfunded effecting the students choice of the instrument they would like to play, and scholarships based on music get abolished due to the lack of funding of the programs. So why should average Joe Shmuck care, I’ll tell you why because it effects your family, your children, your friends, everyone. Why should politicians tell us that we need to cut back on our music programs because of something they themselves have caused?

The first reason that a lack of fund in musical education has on students is students who want to take band and get feedback now have to find other options. The underfunding is at a high rate nowadays in schools cutting into all art and music programs. In 1997 a program was made to combat the underfunding of music programs in schools. That program VH1 Save the Music is still trying to combat the underfunding to this day. Which has now affected students in public schools who want to take guitar or band causing them to have a hard struggle to overcome the money that it takes to buy learning material? Students have found other options such as forming garage bands which don’t give the same feedback as schools do. Many people may say well its only music failing to realize that to them it’s only music, but to these students it is more. It is a lifestyle. Music to them is an outlet of emotion and brings them joy and others as well and yes many people who didn’t have musical schooling became famous, but the musicians could have been better with the proper funding of their schools. Many students who have goals to be musicians in a certain area of music fail at this goal because their only option of learning music is in school, which is underfunding the music programs. It’s all a big cycle with students being caught in the middle. Whether or not they become famous is not why these students, who put in the work in a class that may not have enough music books or doesn’t have enough instruments, want to play music. Many of the students do it for the pure joy of learning a skill. The first thing a musician learns at school is how to keep rhythm which you don’t learn anywhere else. Then they go deeper and learn the part of the instrument and their purpose in music you also can’t learn that anywhere else. So should we not give students the option in schools? Should we take their goals away? Or should we fund them properly, give them a nice place to play, and the proper amount of equipment and learning instruments? You decide.

The second reason underfunding of music education is having on students, as well as students having to find another option to find feedback and learning, is schools that are so underfunded that they aren’t able to buy instruments and because of the underfunding have to teach with used instruments. In my elementary school, South Bay, our music department made us learns on used and old instruments and if we wanted newer equipment we had to buy it ourselves. In a high school guitar class I had to buy my own instrument because the class was poorly underfunded, which made me sad because I had to spend a hefty amount of money to buy a guitar, but what about the students who couldn’t afford the instrument? Why do we treat music any different from any other class? If you take an art class isn’t art supplies provided or better yet if you take a history class isn’t a history book provided? I, for one find this a little bit wrong. This treatment of music education as unnecessary, but in schools such as Eureka High where I went to school students who wished to graduate had to have 2 years of a fine art. So if the school wants us to play I believe they should be able to provide us with the instruments just as much as the school should with any other class. To many junior high school and middle and even high school students this upsets their plans to be in band just like the high school students their schools make them pay for their own instruments. Shouldn’t any learning institute wishing to fill class rooms, especially music classes, equip their students? If they can afford to properly equip them with books and other instruments. My thought is this does anyone else find this morally outrages that students who may be lower income have to pay for their instruments and why does it always seem that music is the first to be cut out of schools? When there are plenty of other classes or positions that can be cut? Who does it affect? The answer is not the politicians, but rather the students, and the parents. When the parents have to pay for their children the instruments or to join the band it affects them and their children’s’ joy. For the children it is joy that music brings, the joy of owning a piece of their youth. For the parents it is the joy of watching their children grow and be happy and the joy of watching them perform, but it costs them because of the underfunding of music education, and the lack of instruments. If we rearranged the finances we could positively affect the growth of music education therefore having a positive effect on our youth.

The third reason the underfunding of music education is having a negative effect on students besides students having to find another option of feedback for music, having to buy their own instruments is that students seeking scholarships based on music education are getting less and less money because of the underfunding. Scholarships based on musical merits are being dried up because the money that used to be given to students is now being diverted to fund other school problems. In schools like Blue Valley High School in Kansas decided to divert the money into classroom sizes. I see it this way, though many may disagree with me, students who play football or any sports in high school are eligible for scholarships and since we can afford to give them the scholarships based on “Athletic Merit” why shouldn’t students who play an instrument get the same scholarships options with the same monetary value for their “Musical Merits”. Well the answer is staring you right in the face. The answer is that many schools overfund their school athletic teams all but ignoring the music programs. Why shouldn’t the schools fund their athletic teams when their team went undefeated last year? I think that the reason is plainly obvious, the reason being that many if not all the schools who do overfund their undefeated teams take away from many interesting classes and clubs including the schools own music programs. We as Americans have a fascination with sports and students who play sports and especially students who get scholarships for playing sports, but what about the students who make beautiful music? Why do they go ignored when they get an award or a scholarship? Many people say that sports are vastly important to school reputations, but shouldn’t music be as equally important? Isn’t it all about the students and their “merits?” Isn’t that what gains scholarships? My point is that music scholarship is as important as any other scholarship. If these scholarships are so important why are the scholarships and classes being cut? These questions should be answered, let them be answered by the politicians.

In conclusion the reasons that education has been stolen from the youth by the overfunding. The overfunding has had negative effects on the youth these effects are: students who want to join a band and get feedback have to find other options, these students have to pay for there own instruments and finally students who are seeking scholarships for musical merits are getting less money then other scholarships. If these schools and learning institutes want students to join the school board should pay for the classes. These reasons should be addressed.

© Copyright 2017 Mike Lachnicht . All rights reserved.

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