Music, The Indispensable Core Subject Needed in 21st Century Education

Joe Pisano

Dr. Joseph M. Pisano is an Associate Professor of Music and Music Technology and the Associate Chair of Music and Fine Arts at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. His duties there include teaching Music Technology, Jazz History, Instrumental Conducting, and serving as the Associate Director of Bands. Abroad, he is an instrumental conductor and adjudicator, jazz trumpet player, Fine Arts Advocate, and the founder of many popular music, education, and technology Web sites including MusTech.Net and the He also serves as a SoundTree Clinician, TI:ME Instructor, affiliate member of the Support Music Coalition, and writes the Teacher’s Guide for IN-Tune Monthly.

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  1. Bob Morrison says:

    I must say I completely agree. Count me on the side of more hopeful. The reported demise of music education has been greatly exaggerated. The role technology will play to open more doors and windows for young people to engage with music in our schools (the other 80% you reference) is one of the strategies that will help. The need for creativity and innovation will bring the discussion to something inherent in what we do everyday. It will also be helpful to allow music makers of all types, shapes, flavors, colors, and genres have a place at our table. Music should be for everyone… and until we reach this goal of making it accessible for all in our schools our work is incomplete.

    Well done!

  2. Hi Joe,

    Great post. It’s interesting to hear about what is going on in the US. Here in the UK, music education under our new Coalition Government (a mix of Conservatives and Liberals) has been under review. The report, written by the CEO is a radio station (Classic FM) contains a mixture of good and not so good recommendations.

    However, the broader development of educational policy in recent months has meant that it is highly likely that Music, as an individual subject, will fall out of the UK National Curriculum in late 2012. This would be the end of every child’s entitlement to a music education between the ages of 5 – 14.

    It seems likely that this core, curricular provision will be replaced by a ‘mish mash’ of music education opportunities delivered by a range of groups (some publicly funded but most private enterprises I suspect). Music education in the UK is being privatised pretty quickly.

    As you can tell, I am very worried about these developments and have charted these on my blog. I think there are many points of contacts with developments in the US. It is good to have this kind of international exchange of views.

    Best wishes,


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  1. February 16, 2011

    […] in the very first edition of Leading Notes Online Music Magazine.   My article was titled “Music Education: The Indispensable Core Subject Needed in the “21st Century” (Click the link or graphic to visit and my […]

  2. March 16, 2011

    […] probably isn’t news to you that music education in schools is under threat in the US and the UK, so if you’re looking for information and evidence on the myriad of ways that […]

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