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Radio Smart Talk: How essential is music education?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 11, 2013 8:31 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, March 11:

child playing violin.jpeg

March is Music in Our Schools Month -- an event designed to focus attention on the need for and benefits of quality music education programs. 

Music and arts education programs have been downsized or eliminated in some public schools due to budget constraints.

The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association says that there are 200 fewer music teachers across the state than there were in 2010.  PMEA points out some schools have eliminated musical instrument instruction in elementary schools as part of the cutbacks.

PMEA is lobbying for the arts to be included with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as core subjects.  Students would have to earn at least one credit in the arts in order to graduate.

PMEA representatives will appear on Monday's program to make their case.

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Comments: 4

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-11 08:27

    E-mail from Joel:

    "Driving to school today I heard that you were having discussion on Smart Talk about music education in PA. I have been an elementary band director in the Williams Valley School District in Tower City for over 30 years.

    Cutbacks are certainly a problem in all school districts and PMEA has been talking up music advocacy for the last few years. One of the things that we at Williams Valley have done is to promote music performances as much as possible so that if music were to stop in our district, it would be missed.

    In addition to having elementary and high school choirs, concert bands and jazz bands that have concerts plus an annual musical, we have begun to get alumni re-involved in music. For two years our alumni marching band participated in homecoming and paraded and for 7 years our alumni jazz band performed at our Les Brown Big Band Festival.

    Not only does the alumni profit by this but also our community, students, administration and school board see that a quality music program in the public schools provides a life-long activity.

    Music is an essential to everyone’s life even if you are not a musician. Just try going through a day without encountering music in some way.

    Thanks for having this issue on Smart Talk."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-11 08:33

    E-mail from Miranda:

    "Wondering if there is any data regarding Charter School and Private schools that maintain a strong curriculum in the art and how their students perform in standardized testing? I would think that there is a link to keeping a rich educational environment and well educated children."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-11 08:36

    E-mail from O.:

    "In the early developmental years, yes, music is necessary. In the later years, no, but perhaps the students in the early grades that display an aptitude,ear or gift can be consolidated with other local schools so as to at least consolidate the classes, thus keeping a form of the classes to continue and the art.

    But to grade someone and expect them to take the class in later years is unnecessary,especially if they don't have the talent. This is a "creative skill class". You have it or you don't."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-11 08:36

    E-mail from Manuel:

    "This subject is one that upsets me greatly. Too long, parents have abrogated their responsibilities to the education of their children to the public schools. This is part of the reason so many parents are pulling kids out of public schools and putting kids into private, charter, and homeschools. These parents are the ones who advocate for their children and work to make sure their kids have well rounded and exceptional educations. It is time for public school parents to step up, advocate for their children and force the government and educators to understand the will of the parents for better education for their children."

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