Published by: Mia Torbert
1.3 million... students don’t have access to music classes Children's Music Workshop.
In today's society, music is extremely prevalent amongst youth now more than ever in history. Streaming services and social media such as Tik Tok and YouTube showcase young adults' talent and provide them a platform for their musical ear. Music is a portion of the epicenter of American culture and is interwoven into the fibers of this country's DNA. It’s unfortunate to witness huge budget cuts to Music Programs in public schools based on cultural and economic disparities. Low income neighborhoods receive little to no funding in music and art education. The lack and consequence of removing music classes amongst those students lays heavy on whether they graduate on time, affects their ability to perform academically, and inhibits their emotional and social growth. This affects their ability to perform and succeed in school, while proper funding could liven and develop their educational experience and social emotional skills.
Inner city schools receive the lowest funding in their after school music education programs. Why is that? The public school system relies heavily on property taxes. “ Property values vary a lot from neighborhood to neighborhood, district to district. And with them, tax revenues.” NPR.ORG, 2016. The lower the property taxes are the less public schools can afford to pay for the teachers and materials to sustain their music and art programs. With low property taxes, low income neighborhoods get hit the hardest. Unfortunately, music and art education are the first budget cut schools make. It's unfair that the schism between education and the arts is determined by property value. Cutting these programs means low income students living in inner city areas miss out on possibly graduating on time! “ Low-income high school students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to graduate from high school than low-income students who earned many arts credits.”Hawkins, Tyleah, The Washington Post. As a result of low property taxes funding local inner city schools music and arts programs are removed affecting students ability to perform and function. Our youth are important in shaping our future. It's important schools implement music programs to provide the kind of benefit that positively impacts a child's growth.
Music programs are beneficial to a child's social and emotional learning and development. School ensures that the educational needs such as math, science, literature and history are essential in a child's expansion. However, creative learning is just as, if not, more important to the enhancement of students' learning experience. It is especially responsible for improving their ability to function and grow socially and emotionally. According to the District Columbia of Public Schools “Participation in high-quality afterschool music programs have been proven to improve... academic achievement and attitudes toward learning.” Furthermore, Tyleah Hawkins of The Washington Post says “Arts education gives children a place where they can express themselves and channel negative emotions into something positive. Students are well-rounded and required to be academically healthy in all subjects to perform.” Music programs increase the overall quality of a students life. “It Enriches the quality of children’s lives, promotes cultural awareness, creates social bonds, promotes pride of accomplishment, promotes responsibility, raises student achievement, develops self-discipline, develops greater tolerance, and provides constructive entertainment.” National Education Music Company music. It is vital that students living in inner city areas receive a well rounded education. Adding music classes is expressed to not negate the importance of subjects but to illuminate the value in music and art education as a need in a child's development as much as the general curriculum requires.
In conclusion, low property funding in inner city areas forces local schools to cut music and art education from the curriculum assuming its irrelevance to a child's development academically, socially and emotionally. With the flow of cash being cut from art programs students don't receive the proper enrichment necessary to grow and succeed in school past their academic career. The best solution would be the state and or city bridging the financial gap that inner city schools can't afford to pay. Setting this in place could provide students a fair chance at succeeding with music added to the curriculum. Proper support to local business, and care and concern in the neighborhoods these students reside would greatly help fix the financial gap. Music and arts is a need as any other subject matter. It adds dimension to the child's learning experience that reaches far beyond their academic career but expands to their character building and social and emotional development. Music and arts education is important.
“1.3 Million Elementary School Students Don’t Have Access to Music Classes.” Children's Music Worship , www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/access.
“After School Programs .” District Of Columbia Public Schools , dcps.dc.gov/afterschool.
Hawkins, Tyleah. “Will Less Art and Music in the Classroom Really Help Students Soar Academically?” The Washington Post
Pergola , Joseph. “Music Education in Crisis.” National Education Music Company , 2014, www.nemc.com/resources/articles/music-education-in-crisis_90.
“Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem.” NPR.ORG, 2016