Reading Musical Foundation has been a local advocate for music education for a number of years, and has access to decades of statistics and testimonials at the district, local, state and national level. We make this data available to any district or advocate.
1. Curricular Value of Music Education
The first and foremost reason behind our advocacy efforts is that there is a curricular value to all aspects of the music program – general music, choral, band and orchestra. While all four complement each other, they cannot consequently replace each other. Eliminating any portion will cause a great void in the curriculum, as well as in opportunities to students in years to come.
2. Cross-Curricular Value
While much of the beginning months of instrument training is simply learning how to make a sound from the instrument, the second half of the year is focused on how bodies react to proper posture, development of listening skills, learning all of the aspects of playing in an ensemble, how to explain music preference, and understanding the cultural element of the pieces performed. While many of these standards accompany skills needed for the Core Standards and 21st Century Skills, the each have a value of their own.
3. Emotional Value
RMF supports music education because the work is important for many reasons, not just so that we can reuse dozens of instruments or have students play symphony music on stage. Music classes open doors and opportunities that would otherwise be shut. They teach kids cause and effect in avenues far beyond music. Students and parents take pride in their work. If you’ve ever seen the smile on a child’s face who has just mastered a difficult piece, or the tears in his mother’s eyes, you’ve seen change taking place. These are lessons and memories that will last a lifetime – and will be attributed back to public education.