Music Education

Do you remember yourfirst elementary school Christmas program, your little sister's piano recital, or those Friday night football half-time shows? What about thefirst musical you sat through on a field-trip or the band you wanted to form when you were fifteen? These are all common experiences for America's youth.It would be correct to say that, at times, music is shoved down our throats, and is forced upon us by some higher authority.Of course, it is all done for our own good.But who decided that music was so important?Who decided that music education was valuable to the American people?Is music education really that valuable or is it just a luxury that we could live without?With the shrinking budgets that schools are facing today, these questions are being raised.Many argue that fine arts education is not essential to children while others argue that fine arts education teaches valuable skills that can be carried across the whole curriculum and into adulthood and, thus, is essential.
Educational goals for America's youth are set by the state and national governments.These goals are set to try to ensure that children and young adults receive the type of quality education that will help them in the successful world. In
1991, national goals in education were issued by President Bush and the nation’s governors. These goals were to be achieved by the year 2000. According to Karl Glenn in the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) Bulletin: “These goals call for American students to be ‘ first in the world’ in science and math achievement and to demonstrate competency over challenging subject matter including English, mathematics, science, history, and geography” (Glenn, 1). Music education and other fine arts education were not seen as important or even minimally essential. This sent a clear message to the public that fine arts education is of little value to America’s youth.

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