Music, The Indispensable Core Subject Needed in 21st Century Education
When looking at the “State of Music Education” today, in this very instance of time in the United States, I am both very concerned and very hopeful. We live in a time where Music Education in the schools has been both attacked and successfully ousted from communities to be replaced for even more “left-brained-directed” and traditional “19th-20th Century” skill-building courses. However, we also live in a time where acquiring skills in creativity, innovation, and being able to see the “larger picture” have risen to the highest importance with regard to the roles that they play in our students’ acquisition of them as part of a complete and desired “21st Century skill set”.
With the recent internal movement among Music Educators to provide every student with Music and Arts Education throughout their public school experience, the inclusion of technology as a vehicle for on-going instruction in music has become both a viable and a more than acceptable alternative/addition to existing traditional music programs. Through it, music educators are now able to sustain instruction and reach the other “80%” of students that have “given up” on music after the sixth grade or have not been provided a means through “traditional” music programs to connect with the music instructor because of the pre-existing and narrow curriculum(s).
There may be no better impetus for the acquiring of the creative and innovative related skills that have been deemed necessary for a successful “21st century education” than through concentrated and on-going Music and Arts instruction. It is my hope that education policy makers don’t continue to make the mistake of destroying and defunding Music and Arts Education in the schools before they realize that in doing so, they destroy exactly what they are blindly looking for as a catalyst for achieving a comprehensive “21st Century Education” in the curriculum(s). Any student that has successfully studied music and merged the lessons of it into their life will testify to its priceless value.
We must provide our students with the skills they need to be successful in this century. This becomes a possibility not by simply advocating the necessity of mandatory music instruction throughout the public school, but by finally achieving the implementation of it. Music instruction and programs should not be decreasing, but increasing exponentially in our school systems.
Good music instruction has always achieved these goals and provided these types of crucial benefits to its students. It is only now the “world” is slowly awakening to the realization of the power of Music Instruction and what we’ve always known about it as music instructors: Music Education is not only important, it is vital to the education of the “whole” student –even more so in a century where creativity and innovation is to be so highly sought after as part of a crucial skill set. The time is right for our Music Advocacy efforts to become fulfilled and realized in the schools and we must press forward in achieving these goals for the sake of all of our students.
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