Posted: August 15th, 2013
Running Head: Music Project
Date of Submission:
Music as an art form that is elicited through the sound medium is part of everyday life. Years of extensive research posit that music education as well as art education in general, is linked to all that is required from children including emotional and social development, academic achievement, equitable opportunity as well as civic engagement. The learning of music in schools has been attributed to such positive attributes like enhancement of motivation, concentration, teamwork and confidence. Over the past few years, many school programs had to be cut down to reduce on the budget as well as providing the students with the chance to concentrate on the most important subjects. The most badly hit school programs include art, music and physical education classes. Although many schools would prefer to cut down on the school programs such as music, music is one of the subjects that build on skills that children acquire from other subjects.
Although it might be hard to believe, music can be employed in the improvement of fractions and counting skills for most children. This is because music is written in form of measures that encompass a certain number of beats. A song might encompass ¾ times. This clearly indicates that per measure of the song should have 3 beats, where a quarter note counts as a single beat. In a setting like this, a child can learn both the fractions in terms of ¾, while at the same time learning about counting in regards to the number of full beats and quarter beats required in the song. Mathematics might not be a very interesting subject for all students, but when the students are taught using the music medium, they might find it easier and more fun rather than learning mathematics in the normal manner in which it is taught. This ascertains that music should not be one of the school programs cut to save on money.
Learning to read is the most fundamental foundation of the learning process. No child can be involved successfully in the learning process without prior reading knowledge. Music can form part of the integral parts of the learning process owing to the fact that before children can present music, they have to learn how to read and memorize music. The children will not only employ these skills in the music classes, but in other classes as well. The memorizing and reading process in music does not only take place once but the students are required to repeat the process until they get it right. This asserts that the students will not only thrive in music due to the amount of practice put into memorizing and reading music, but they will also thrive in the other subjects that require intensive memorizing and reading. In this case, music should still be maintained in the school curriculum.
When children are taken to school, they are not only required to achieve academic excellence but they are also required to acquire extensive social skills that can enhance their survival in many adverse conditions. For this reason, music is a very important subject for acquiring of the needed social skills. This is because creation of tunes in music requires total concentration and participation of students. In most cases, the students work in groups in which they are required to take turns to learn while listening for their cue before they can participate in the learning process. They are also supposed to respect each other and the personal equipment used in the music class. These valuable social skills can augment the overall development of the students in question. This is because music is an artistic expression that can enhance the confidence and self-esteem of students, hence augmenting the students’ social interactions skills where other students and the people surrounding them are concerned.
In 2006, President Bush approved the signature education Law that translated into the No Child Left Behind theme. Under this law, all students had to improve their reading and mathematics testing through the reduction of time spent on such other subjects like Music and Art. The main reason behind this law was to enhance the academic prospects for all statements in America. What the president did not take into consideration was the impact this law would have on the students. Most of the lowest performing students under the new law were not allowed to take any other subject except mathematics and reading so that they could improve their grades substantially. As per the research conducted, it was posited that instead of improving on their grades, the students felt intimidated and their grades fell even further. This is because the confidence and self-esteem built in the music classes lacked in the other classes. This means that the withdrawal of music can be detrimental especially for the lowest performing students.
Not all students are born as academic geniuses. Some students exhibit superior creativity that can only be tapped through the provision of an adequate creative outlet. This is provided in the music classes in which the students are provided with the chance for self- expression through music. Scraping music from the school curriculum adversely affect the children whose parents cannot afford to pay for private music classes. Accessing these classes in public schools can go further in augmenting the self-expression of the students, which can be translated into academic excellence in the other school programs. Music is a crucial element of human existence. This is because music stimulates the functioning of the brain, hence improving the academic achievement prospects of the students. as per the Harris Interactive poll of 2006 on high school principals, those school curriculums that incorporate the music program posses an a higher graduation rate of 18 percent.
Consequently, The Journal of Research in Music Education asserts that those students involved in high quality music programs possess the ability to score 21% higher in math and English standardized tests as compared to those engaged in low quality music programs. It is depicted that in Seimens Westinghouse academic competition, close to 99% of the participants who won an award in science and math were involved in music, in that they played a music instrument. Additionally, music is utilized in most instances for the creation of an emotional outlet for those students with frustration and anger related problems. The research contained in Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report asserts that those students involved in bands or music were at a lower risk of engaging in drug and alcohol abuse because they have an alternative and positive outlet for their anger and frustration. Essentially, the amount of time required for practicing music cannot accord the students with the idle time to engage in social evils.
Many people have provided different reasons linked to the fact that cutting music from the school curriculum might be beneficial to some extent. What these people have not done is conducting comprehensive research on the benefits of music to the students. Some depict that cutting music translates to cutting costs. Although, this point cannot be disagreed with, because the fewer the number of programs in the school curriculum the lower the costs, cost should not be the element to be capitalized on. The element that should be very important is the realization of the academic goals of all students, which can be enhanced when their brain activity is augmented by music culminating into better grades and better academic, prospected. Essentially, other people argue that music is a very difficult subject to learn, therefore it can deter the learning process of students especially the young ones.
This point cannot hold any water because the learning process is not an easy process but ease can be inserted into it through music. Nothing good can be achieved through little effort. A lot of effort has to be incorporated into the learning process, and hence holding that music is very difficult and can interfere with the learning process of the students is misguided. Some parents hold that teachers complain of the noise that is elicited from the music classrooms when students are playing the music instruments. This might be true to some extent but in most schools currently, the music rooms have been separated from the other classes so that other students can learn without the distractions from the music rooms. Most parents assert that music should be made optional. This might be advantageous to some extent, but in accordance to the stipulations of the Journal of Research in Music Education, those involved in high quality music programs have higher grades in math and reading as compared to those involved in low quality music programs.
Music is one of the programs in contention under the school curriculum. This is because preferences have been linked to Math and English under the No Child Left Behind law, while at the same time most schools aiming at cutting cost through the reduction of educational programs in the school curriculum. This is not a positive move because music is linked to increased brain activity that might culminate into better grades. Research shows that those students with no musical background have lower chances of graduating. Essentially, those students involved in music have lower chances of involvement in drug and alcohol abuse. This is because music provides an emotional outlet for anger and frustrations. Music can be used in learning counting and fractions in a fun way. Inherently, music builds the self-esteem and confidence of most students and hence providing them with the chance to excel academically. In conclusion, robbing students of the chance to access music in school translates to robbing them the chance to excel academically and socially.
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