Imagine having something in your life that makes you feel larger and more powerful than yourself. It scientifically boosts happiness, confidence, and discipline. It allows students to form everlasting friendships and memories. While it increases standardized test scores, it is also a fun way to meet new people, feel unstoppable, and have a good time.
This “thing” is music. Unfortunately, music education is not emphasized in public schools due to funding, scheduling, and rank of importance among academic classes. Although people are aware of the benefits of music education, not everyone has the chance to participate in classes. We need to change this. We need to change the way people see music education.
Educators often feel the need to defend the importance of music as a tool to raise test scores and make students smarter. This is just another example of the “keep music in public schools because it helps with a multitude of things” idea. It’s like saying “take an English class because it will help you in your science class!” I want people to stop protecting music education like this.
Music is the universal language. It’s a zillion dollar industry. We are bathed in and soaked in its presence constantly, whether it be through headphones in that seven hour car ride or live at a concert. Wouldn’t you want to learn more about something that is so present in our lives? Imagine a life without music. Devastating, right? Then why would you want to have a school without music?
Music helps us understand who we are and lets us comprehend our deepest and most complicated feelings. But making music lets us dive even further. We unlock the secrets of expressing ourselves. It allows us to reach other people’s minds and hearts just from plucking a string, blowing air through a tube or whacking something. Music simply connects us to other humans in amazing ways. I believe that ensembles completely foster connection, cooperation, and collaboration between students. It’s like group work, but without the stress! Ensembles enrich the cultural life of the school community. They are a way to meet peers with similar interests and likings, and even meet people who are totally different than yourself. Performing music together also releases the hormone oxytocin, which is involved in generating feelings of bonding and trust.
Teaching music in schools can change a student’s life. I am excited to have a career in this field and work to advance and advocate for what I so passionately work at and enjoy. Music will always be there for us and we need to teach its importance and value to the generations to come.
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