Cuts in Music Education
Many public schools don’t provide much funding to their arts department in favor of supporting sports. In some schools this poor distribution of funds has led to cancellations of arts classes entirely. Music is no exception to this rule. Many students who take interest in music do not have the resources to learn. For many people an instrument and private lessons are not affordable. Playing alone is also a drastically different experience from playing in an ensemble. This prevents students with musical talent from reaching their full potential or simply engaging in a hobby they enjoy.
Schools nationwide allocate most of their funds to the sports programs. This is because throughout the years sports has proven to be incredibly popular. Schools invest in fields that large groups of students take interest in. Another important aspect is monetary value. The schools manage to make money back from sports. The schools also get praised when they produce quality athletes, Whereas band events are usually less or free to attend and rarely have an overpriced concession stand. There are less people in music programs than in sports as well as there being less events Students pay for things like trips and uniforms but it is not enough to make back the initial costs the school made; especially when you take instrument rentals into account. The rewards of keeping music programs usually aren’t noticed by the general public leading to them being cut.
Music has many benefits that are often overlooked. There have been numerous studies on it’s effects and they concluded in numerous positive results. It requires a lot of brain activity for the mind to make sense of music. It actually has mathematical aspects to it and many students who play instruments do better than non musical peers in STEM fields. Playing an instrument can introduce kids to music they usually wouldn’t hear force the brain to work harder. It can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. It also improves sleep, mental alertness, blood pressure, and pain. It can even help with your memory. Many people use music as an outlet for emotions when they can’t explain or process them verbally. Music is incredible for both your mental and physical health.
We need to not only gain monetary support but show students that music is an option. Kids often don’t decide to do something if it isn’t presented to them in an appealing way. They have so many options for different sports that are all openly promoted and they are encouraged to join. Teachers and parents need to remove the mindset of the arts being less than STEM and sports so students feel encouraged to try music. We can start fundraisers to support student’s musical endeavors. There are groups such as Glastonbury's Friends of Music and the teachers here at Resonate that can help students realize their potential. Even simply increasing the number of shows students do a year would lead to more people seeing the band and increase in funds. We need to help people understand the benefit of music and how simple it is for them to support music programs.