(Approved by RMF Board of Trustees, May 2014)
“So strongly are school music instruction and ensemble opportunities correlated with persistence in school, college admissions and life skills that their value in the public school curriculum cannot be denied. Taxpayers and the school boards that represent them should consider those experiences essential to the education of every student from elementary through high school. The contributory value of those experiences is maximized if music instruction is integrated into the curriculum and provided by certified school employees in school facilities.
Begun in 1928 as the Reading Musical Foundation’s inaugural music outreach effort, “Music in the Schools” deliberately stages music enrichment programs in the schools. Doing so conveys the value of music instruction and ensembles to students and their parents. That message is muddled unless we give music instruction the same time and space as other core academic subjects.
For the same reason, only the direct employment of music faculty fully articulates the value those teachers provide to our students. There is good reason why music teachers are typically held in high esteem by their students and why troubled students often confide in them to the exclusion of other school professionals: Music teachers must first master a difficult set of skills before they can consider teaching. They are invariably highly disciplined and passionate about what they do. And their own ensemble training as musicians breeds an appreciation for the value of teamwork that is healthy for students to emulate.
RMF strongly supports music in the schools, by the schools, and through certified music teachers employed directly by the schools.”