What Are We Really Risking When We Cut Music and Art from Education?

tyranny of beethoven and his moonlight sonata by woodleywonderworks
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tyranny of beethoven and his moonlight sonata by woodleywonderworks

This past month I heard from a former student, a music teacher, who had just heard that her contract was not being renewed for the next year, and this after she’d just moved to the new position thinking that this was a place where she could really do some good. My last two-years teaching at a Southern California middle school, the art teacher transferred to another school, the music teacher and the shop teacher retired and none of these positions were refilled. I thought, if I was a local parent looking at a school with almost no elective classes, I’d send my children somewhere else. With all of the Charter School and Voucher buzz in the air, how can local schools hope to compete if they continue to cut into the arts part of education?

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How Important Is Music Education? TEDxBoston – Benjamin Zander and the YOA [video]

jbbnbzander
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I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many music educators as my students and they tend to respond very strongly to the book we read in my class, The Art of Possibility by Conductor Benjamin Zander and Psychologist Rosamund Stone Zander. The following video was brought to my attention via one of my students’ blog posts and speaks very specifically to the importance of music as a means to connect across time and across cultures. How important is Music Education? It cannot be measured and those who attempt to put a number to it show how little they understand about what music represents to our culture and being human. Instead of thinking about what we need to cut, we need to think about ways to support those who will write and perform the songs of the future.

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