Informal Poll: Is Music Education important in a child’s education?

Just an informal poll, and focusing specifically on music education in public and private school. What do all you HLifers think? Is it important or not, and why?

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
Feb '19

I'm sure there will be responses that claim music education is a pointless distraction from the core of the three R's, but l feel it is important for helping to develop a well rounded human being. Same with art.

Eperot Eperot
Feb '19

Children should be exposed to the arts in school. As they get older they'll find things they have an affiinity or talent for and hopefully pursue those. But they need to know what's out there to find their niche, and not every home has every option.

Side note, I also think children should learn to cook and basic home economies like meal planning around healthy ingredients. Wouldn't hurt for them to know how to sew on a button and turn up a hem either. It's a shame that was taken away.

hktownie hktownie
Feb '19

Music teaches us the universality of the human emotional experience. It's a language
we all understand without the need for words thus helps us to bridge language and
cultural gaps. Learning to participate in the making of music, or even just learning to
appreciate music opens up a huge potential for the young person to experience in and
contribute to the full richness of humanity and to the values of empathy and cooperation.

Chris S. Chris S.
Feb '19

I agree with Pizza, however, I also think that if the public schools don't have music programs, parents will definitely not endeavor to provide that exposure, and the only "music" the kids will know is the CRAP that's on the radio these days...

I also think, to the people who think all art programs should be stripped from public schools, that you have to also think sports programs should be, to remain intellectually honest. While sports IS a part of the "School experience" (as is choir, madrigals, thespians, etc), it is not "education", therefore should not be there.

Personally, I'd rather pay a music teacher, or a coach, before I pay ONE MORE G-D SUPERINTENDENT.

JeffersonRepub JeffersonRepub
Feb '19

https://nafme.org/20-important-benefits-of-music-in-our-schools/

I did not have an opinion so I googled it - came up with this list. There seem to be some tangible benefits in higher SAT scores etc. interesting read. I also agree with JR that there needs to be regionalization of schools to take advantage of economy of scale - ergo - does every school need dedicated liberal arts resources? they can probably be shared through out schools in the county. e.g. one trimester / semester students at X school get music - and the next semester art and they switch.

skippy skippy
Feb '19

Wow, @ Chris S., that's beautifully stated.

Monty Monty
Feb '19

The exposure to the arts is essential to creating a well-rounded person. Even if one doesn't actively participate in a music ensemble: vocal or instrumental, appreciating the experience of listening to, analyzing, creating, understanding music is a valuable piece of the human experience.

Music can pair with social studies, geography, history, math, and even science as they are all part of the study of music and its effects on people. Learning to appreciate the cultures, including music, of other countries and peoples helps to bridge the divides of nationalities.

Music in an inherent part of life. Watch a newborn baby calm to the sounds of music. Watch a toddler begin to move and dance as soon as music begins to play. Watch children sing as they play. It's not anything they've been taught-it is as natural to them as breathing.


Music is an outlet for what is inside of us. Do you tear up whenever you hear certain songs? Does your heart begin to pound as the eerie music in a film sets the stage for a dramatic scene? The scoring of a movie or stage production is every bit as important as the dialogue. Remember the earliest days of movies? There was no spoken dialogue, but a pianist or organist accompanied the showing to add drama, humor, mystery, or excitement to what the audience was seeing.

Finally, music ensembles: being part of choirs, choruses, bands, orchestras teach so much to kids. There is the all important teamwork required for a polished performance. There is dedication to studying and learning your part. There is practice-working toward excellence in one's performance. There is subjucating yourself individually for the betterment of the whole group. And there is the absolute joy of being part of a successful performance.

So...the same things come from participation in athletics, don't they? Absolutely, they do. The difference is, that eventually, participation on a football team, basketball team, baseball team, and other sports, ends-some sooner than others, but while an 87 year old can still play the piano and sing....it's the VERY rare 87 year old who is still playing baseball.

Do I think music is essential for ALL children? Absolutely. As is the teaching of visual arts, dance, and drama. With those studies, children can live a richer and more engaged life.

John Adams said it this way: I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
John Adams
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

summerrain1 summerrain1
Feb '19

For once, I'm agreeable to something Jefferson Republic posted --- some common ground. There is hope :-D

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu
Feb '19

Music was always an outlet for me growing up...I played an instrument from fourth grade through high school and even went to college for music.

Music really is important as well as all other arts...

I'm not sure what I would have done growing up if I hadn't had that outlet in school, especially on a rough or bad day... You can't only have academics in a school...and you can't JUST teach to the test. (Even though that seems to be what happens a lot)

I have two kids (under 5) we have music on all of the time, my daughter has even gotten sound out of my instrument...and tells me she wants to be in band and marching band when she's old enough.. my only hope at this point is that she DOES have the opportunity to!


3wbdwnj why are you asking? I’d like a direct, transparent, and cogent response.

CommonSenseForOnce CommonSenseForOnce
Feb '19

Aside from the benefits inherent in music for music's sake, learning music aids brain development.

rleaf rleaf
Feb '19

All beautiful responses, especially Chris S and summerrain1!

Some children will discover a talent, others just an appreciation, but music holds great power and should be part of a child's education.

Jersey Girl Jersey Girl
Feb '19

@CommonSenseForOnce, to answer your question, please see my initial post.

3wbdwnj 3wbdwnj
Feb '19

Absolutely necessary. Add teaching on how to use AutoTune correctly as well.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Feb '19

Being a student still, (high schooler), I can confirm how important music is in education. Some students may not be the best at the regular subject such as math, english, history, etc. Music is a get away, and speaks to kids. Music is absolutely necessary in order to help shape a student, and can even bring them extreme happiness. If I did not have music in school, I easily would not be who I am today.

Ilovecats71 Ilovecats71
Feb '19

The thing about music, arts, sports in public school is that it gives opportunities to kids from families that don't have a lot of money. There was a time when those things were only available for wealthy families. Enough said.

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu
Feb '19

Music and the Arts in my education helped me be more well-rounded in life and gave me the opportunity to discover artistic talents I wasn’t encouraged to otherwise explore. Appreciation for the arts was not something my parents cultivated at home. Removing music and art from our schools would definitely keep many kids in the dark.

NJIT Grad NJIT Grad
Feb '19

If you want your children to understand math, then teach them music.

I also found that poetry helped me to understand the importance of brevity in prose.

Agust Agust
Feb '19

Yes 100%

Weedwacker Weedwacker
Feb '19

Sports certainly helped me with math, once I developed an appreciation for all the statistical information involved.

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu
Feb '19

Not to be a Debbie Downer here, and while I appreciate people that enjoy music & art education...it cuts the other way too. I was indifferent to at most casually interested in the music classes that I took back in school (probably more for the social factor than anything)...which were largely chorus based classes.

But I just couldn't stand art class...drawing & painting was (is) NOT my thing. I was just never good at it, and it became very frustrating to have to take these classes when I had others around me making pretty good artwork, while I was working on comparative garbage on other side of the table. Even though I had good teachers along the way (Mrs. Heiss did the best she could to extract what little ability I had), I still couldn't get anything decent. I was very thankful once I satisfied the art requirements back in the day!

Route 46
Feb '19

I had Music Education in school for 2 years and can't read a lick, just couldn't get it. I am however an advanced, semi-professional self taught guitar player and learned to play by ear and from other guitar players. I say go for it, it's a lot of fun.


Sharing an interesting piece on the subject of musical intelligence (Howard Gardner is well known for his theories of multiple intelligences - especially well known in the education field) which may help shine light on the subject: http://multipleintelligencesoasis.org/guest-blog-series-multiple-intelligences-in-music-part-iii/

4catmom 4catmom
Feb '19

Route 46:
Not that this is any help for you to hear now, but I would suggest to you that it's not very important whether you were good at art. The important thing is you were exposed to the process. Speaking as a former art major, IMO the *act* of creating is much more important that any specific piece of work, whatever it may be.

Monty Monty
Feb '19

I am a proponent to budget more funds for programs for Music & Art...

How Extra Arts Education at School Boosts Students’ Writing Scores — And Their Compassion

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/53036/how-extra-arts-education-at-school-boosts-students-writing-scores-and-their-compassion

htown newbie htown newbie
Feb '19

Monty:

But was the act of creating it worth the annual frustration and self hate? I didn't think so at the time...and still kind of doubt it. I seriously dreaded art in school, easily the part of school I hated the most...not even close.

Route 46
Feb '19

You need to activate the studious & both the creative sides of the brain: music/art/gym., and other electives if you so wish. I think you need both. I wish I took more creative classes in elementary and especially high school.

Hackresident Hackresident
Feb '19

When I was in elementary school, we had art, music and PE once per week. There was one teacher for the whole town for each subject (2 for Phys Ed... I'm sure Andy remembers Bob Aida).

There were four elementary schools in Pburg back then, so they each worked four days per week and had 5 classes each of those days.

Once I got to middle school, then there were dedicated classes that you had to take for a whole semester each year (IIRC). We also had industrial arts and home ec, too. Phys Ed you had to take all year, but one semester was dedicated to "Health" issues... same went for High School.

ianimal ianimal
Feb '19

I met Bob Aida several times. Guy had a very self deprecating sense of humor. He coached a losing football team for several years and joked that he was "oh for Aida."

Andy Loigu Andy Loigu
Feb '19

Well, they've been teaching music in schools for 89 years or so, and it's only gotten worse!

Reggie Voter Reggie Voter
Feb '19

Have your children sing in the church choir! Good people, and positive messages.


I think everyone should have a structured exposure to Musical or fine arts, Industrial arts, home economics, and anything they can get exposure too. I believe one may not like something but some time in life may use it or it may help them with something else in life.


Route 46:
I'm not sure if your last post --addressed to me-- was intended as a rhetorical question or if you wanted a response, but clearly we don't know each other at all, and a term like "self hate" is way too loaded for me to address in a way that might be meaningful to you personally.

But my point (which, as I said, is not helpful to you now, but which *IS* relevant to the discussion in this thread) was simply to say that the intent of arts education is not, and should not be, to make every student a great painter or a master violinist. The exposure to the disciplines is what's important, not the skill level of any given student.

Monty Monty
Feb '19

Rt 46,
I see your point. For certain people maybe the same instruction in an individual setting could work for some. Or maybe the ability to not choose it at all.
Also, the same lesson taught by a different person could make all of the difference.

Sometimes what's good for the masses does not work for the individual.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Feb '19

The lockable office of a music teacher in my school was important, it is where we (Varsity golf team) stored our clubs during the school day...


Absolutely NOT!

Real1 Real1
Feb '19

@3wbdwnj you don’t say why. Why are you taking a poll? What’s your motivation for knowing?

CommonSenseForOnce CommonSenseForOnce
Feb '19

"Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/4590-without-music-life-would-be-a-mistake

Here's a good article on Brainpickings about music and its importance:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/09/18/nietzsche-on-music/

That quote was featured in the movie "Here Comes The Boom" and was declared by Henry Winkler when faced with the cancellation of his job as a music teacher and the whole music program. I loved the movie and definitely agree. Just as in sports, music education gives you a sense of creation and being able to work together as a team to create/perform as a greater whole.

Sure, there are prodigies, such as J.S. Bach, Beethoven, etc. but being able to have someone teach you the foundations of music and being able to either recreate other's music or create your own music can help people communicate, give them a sense of purpose, belonging and self-worth. I've seen amazing budding artists on youtube, so believe me, music isn't dead yet. There's a lot more to it than "just" the music! Unfortunately I moved so often when younger. I was to learn clarinet at Jr. High, but moved to a new school where it was too late to get started in the music program, then moved to another not long after that.

I was always disappointed that I never got the chance, but that did translate into being very supportive of my niece as she ended up being lucky enough to be able to be taught the clarinet in school, even being selected as part of the "State" band later.
She can always use this skill later in life, whether that means as part of a band, as composer or in combination with the major she's selected in college.

In short, YES, I feel it's very important!

Phil D. Phil D.
Feb '19

Music and art are outlets for the kids who are not sports inclined. Not all are. The arts give them a forum to shine at SOMETHING. For those who think they do not like music or art, it will give them the opportunity to find that out. When exposed to it, they may discover they actually do have an appreciation for it. It would be very sad to lose those programs in our schools.

Parental Unit Parental Unit
Feb '19

Music, art, shop class, and many other elective classes are essential. For one it helps make a well rounded individual. Two it helps people discover there strengths and weaknesses. It was once that you took a variety of classes and were graded . A counsler then could look and identify possible directions you may want to go in Life. Based on areas you excel. If nothing else in the areas you did not do well you at least picked up some basic knowledge.


If you even have to ask, then you are reading the sports page first and think Vivaldi is a kind of pasta...

Acl76 Acl76
Feb '19

This proves the importance of music education. Worked well for The Who. Check out this video. It’s hysterically appropriate, for today’s society. This one is an “SOK”...snot on keyboard, from laughing! Enjoy....

https://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/video/jimmy-fallon-the-who-the-roots-sing-wont-get-fooled-again-classroom-instruments/3956683

Guilty-Remnant Guilty-Remnant
May '19

Yes. Research has proven its bolsters math, creativity and critical thinking skills. Music also helps to introduce our children to our western civilization and other cultures around the world. Now what is wrong with that.


Absolutely!

Retired Retired
May '19

Playing music is at least as helpful in building a sense of teamwork and camaraderie as sports is. When you play in a band or orchestra setting, other people rely on you and vice versa. It also shows kids a process from beginning to finish. It takes a lot of time and hard work and practice to go from day one with a new piece of music, which everybody knows sounds terrible when first played, to the polished performance of that piece at a concert. It gives gives kids a real sense of accomplishment and teaches them the value and importance of work.

JohnDi JohnDi
May '19

My most profound memory of grade school (ages 5-12) was singing The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, all the songs pertaining to all the armed forces, Christmas and holiday songs from various nations, seafaring songs, cowboy songs, and the list goes on. I remember being so proud of my country, and learning so much through the songs we sang. In our academic classes it was all individual work and achievements, but in music classes we all sang, laughed and honestly loved each other. Maybe it was having a teacher who seemed to combine music with history, global cultures, and fun that shaped my opinions, but those lessons have stayed with me for over 60 years. That's an impression that any teacher would hope for.

USAfirst USAfirst
May '19

Ok come with me to a place called high rock now be quit make no sound of your own and listen you will hear the rush in the leaves a birds song over there the small wood land creatures as they move about and there is so much more to hear its music

Music Education is most important in a childs education hold it out say come play learn ingest it will have lighten your sole same as the wood land sounds did place it there for them to try but never force it music comes from with in the heart and sole yes we need it

Caged Animal Caged Animal
May '19

Music Appreciation & Art Appreciation =Yes! At most two semesters each.
Teaching a child a musical instrument is clearly a Parental responsibility as opposed to a Public obligation.


Oh please, no it isn't.

Reggie Voter Reggie Voter
May '19

"as opposed to a Public obligation"

It's at least as much a public obligation as PhysEd is.


Interesting reading:

https://news.ubc.ca/2019/06/24/music-students-do-better-in-school-than-non-musical-peers/

https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/edu-edu0000376.pdf

Monty Monty
Jun '19

given the state of music today, I would say that it is very important, both for mental and physical attributes, and for understanding and learning a non-verbal language...words sometimes get in the way, don't they?

zentravl zentravl
Jun '19

Gym and sports should be the responsibility of parents too. Why are taxpayers paying big money via coach and gym teacher salaries, sports equipment and insurance to have kids kick a ball around?

Pcisnt4me Pcisnt4me
Jun '19

Let’s just continue shaving down children’s educational experience- eliminate music-art- extracurricular sports- band- everything- just fund administrator’s mid six figure compensation, teacher’s salaries, benefits and building maintenance.
Who cares about cultivating a well rounded, able and prepared generation?
Let’s just saddle them with 20, 30, 50 TRILLION $$$ worth of debt.
The Greatest generation is passing on- being replaced by the most Selfish generation.
Cut, cut, cut taxes and shuffle the debt off to them.
Anyone here have a conscience?
( go on—let me have it)

Stymie Stymie
Jun '19

Yes, let’s get the narrowest and cheapest education possible. Less is more, more is a waste of taxpayer money. Cut anything not strictly job related. Better yet, test kids early to slot into specific job roles and then just teach to the job. That way bricklayers won’t be bothered by learning anything else like history. Who needs it to lay bricks. Better yet, we can base kid’s streamlined education classes on DNA profiles so you can know what they will be before conception amd we can job train them for the cheapest possible price. MAGA.

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Jun '19

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