Around the world, the United States is seen as the leader amongst all nations. Many of our own politicians love to say how it is the greatest country in the world. Since childhood, we have been taught that the American Dream is something that causes everyone from other countries in the world to move here. We have so much hype around us and sadly we don’t live up to it. Studies show that even though we are second in the industrialized nations, behind Switzerland, in amount spent for student we are ninth in terms of education. Why is this happening? What seems to be happening is lack of expectation in our students hence students are finding it hard to get motivated in school. With a country that thrives on innovation, you would think that there would have been a solution to this problem ages ago.
One thing that I think is extremely important to make education succeed is Music and the arts. With music and the arts in school a student learns to become motivated and they are more likely to stay in school and have them continue in their education. It also makes a student become better in different aspects of life and enables them to become reliable leaders. Something that is very important in the planning of a country’s future.
In a study conducted, New York City public schools with the lowest graduation rates have the least access to music and arts classes. In our state of Florida, we have one of the highest school dropout rates in the nation with every one in four students dropping out. Generally one the main reason for dropping out includes lack of interest in school. Adding different kinds of music and art classes in school will keep students motivated and interested in staying in school. Being in the drum line or in a theatre class also gives a chance for students to work with their fellow peers. This sense of community gives students the opportunity to grow and become confident in themselves. Many times this confident grows to leadership which helps students in becoming more successful in the future.
A big step in being successful in the future of students is getting accepted into their dream colleges. And the most important thing is being well rounded, that includes being involved in the school you are in, having good grades and staying out of trouble. Music and the arts keep students out of trouble because they put in all the negative energy into something positive, also being in the arts program in a school is usually not a classroom sort of thing. Most of the time, students are in concerts, musicals, entering poetry contests, or putting their art in a gallery and this is something that takes place outside the school and that keeps a student busy and out of trouble. Music therefore tends to create a positive mental attitude to the students thereby enhancing their education (Duke 45)
Since being in the arts is a time consuming activity, many of the classes that have to do with the arts will be held after school and clubs activities. This dedication helps in the future of students. Students will also become more active in working with other people which in turn causes them to get more involved with community service and that is something that most if not all colleges really like. Finally in academics, a student involved in the arts will do better in academics because they are all interconnected. For example, a student involved in music class is more likely to do better in math than a student who isn’t. So how can a subject like music help well student in math? Well research has found that music instruction helps develop the capacity for spatial-temporal reasoning, which is integral in the acquisition of important mathematical skills.
Music and arts is essential in any education curriculum because it plays part in enhancing student’s language and reading skills (Elliot 63). This is because the art of music involves verbal communications to effectively convey the message being transmitted by the songs, poems or plays. These aspects of arts are what enhance the student’s learning capacity thereby improving their performance as well. Research revealed that most students engaging in music and arts classes performed better in linguistic subjects compared to those who did not. This gives the implication that it is crucial for schools to adopt music and arts classes to improve the academic performance of students.
There is a strong correlation between music and education. This is because music has either a direct or indirect influence to education. A direct influence is when it is handled as a unit in a school; it would require the student’s full participation. Music on the other hand will have an indirect influence to education when students will different languages as a result of learning music from different parts of the world. This bond acts as a motivation to students at the different levels of education and this automatically has a positive impact on the economy of a country.
Music and arts tend to incorporate good morals thereby upbringing socially and economically dependable students. The morals inculcated to students by these morals enables them see the value of education and enables them develop a positive attitude towards education (Phillips 71). Some of the morals that will be involved in music and arts include discipline, persistence, patience, and collaboration amongst others. Patience as a virtue developed as a result of music will assist students become patient with education as well. Students who would have wanted to drop out of schools change their self destructive thoughts and instead embrace education.
Research has revealed that music and arts students develop a high sense of social skills compared to students who do not engage in the arts (Jorgensen 59). This aspect of social skills helps students become resourceful people in the society and the country as a whole. Social skills are developed when students have to perform in front of a large audience. This aspect enables them develop a high sense of self confidence and better ways of expressing themselves. These students will tend to have high levels of self esteem.
The schools of music and arts give the students the idea that they can make something out of themselves. This helps the students become inventive and innovative in achieving their short term and long term goals. These students will be more creative in finding solutions to problem hence implying that they become better problem solvers. The students become good planners as well in different life aspects. This combination of traits is part of the leadership skills required in different activities.
Music and arts lessons are amongst the first ones to be dropped out of the education curriculum in cases of economic difficulties. This should be greatly discouraged because these programs enable students become more team oriented. Music involves different instruments and different vocals. To bring out the best of music therefore, a combination of all these elements has to be achieved. The combination of the elements cannot be felt without team work from the key role players in the music. The team work employed in music therefore, extends to the students’ social lives hence the reason why music and arts should be highly encouraged in schools.
Music is an active activity that requires full participation of the students. Contrary classroom learning is more of passive in nature because the students just sit down in classroom and take in what the teachers have to say. Music and arts classes require students to actively take part in playing the musical instruments or act on stage (Reimer 27). This implies that music and arts are more involving to the students compared to classroom learning. This is the reason why most students will appreciate music and arts compared to classroom learning.
Music and arts plays a key role in developing socially responsible students. This is because the art of music and arts enables students appreciate cultural diversity. Therefore, music and arts students are in a better position to fit in different cultural settings. This is gained when students learn music and arts lessons which involve different cultures. By these lessons the students embrace the different cultural aspects. The students can therefore fit in a different cultural setting compared to students who have always been in classroom lessons only.
Music and arts students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to a higher level compared to students who do not engage in music and arts (Jorgensen 36). Critical thinking is developed when these students have to learn how to use new musical instruments such as the violins amongst others. The students develop greater efforts in learning and this constitutes to problem solving skills on the students’ part. These students therefore become better problem solvers in the future.
Music and arts have different effects on the students in schools. Some of the effects are psychological whereas some are physical. The psychological effects of music and arts to students tend to assist the students in improving the education. The physical effect on music and arts to students enhances the students’ ability to be highly creative and innovative. It is therefore logical that music and arts play a big role in developing students of high intellectual capacity within the society. Music and arts classes should therefore be encouraged in every education curriculum. It is however a pity that music and arts lessons are some of the first to be dropped out of the curriculum in case of crisis.
Duke R.E. Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the core principles of effective instructions. California: Learning and Behavior Resources, 2009.
Elliot J. D. Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Jorgensen R.E. Transforming music education. New York: Indiana University Press, 2002.
Jorgensen R.E. The Art of Teaching Music. New York: Indiana University Press, 2008.
Phillips H.K. Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Reimer B. A Philosophy of Music Education: Advancing the vision. London: Prentice Hall, 2002.