Reply To: Need reasons why music shouldn't be cut!

Frontpage Forums General Music Need reasons why music shouldn't be cut! Reply To: Need reasons why music shouldn't be cut!


Hello everyone,

Happy New Year and wishing you a fantastic 2013!
I am pleased to serve as the NAfME General Music Forum Mentor for January 2013.

In response to advocacy points, I recommend the following:

The International Society for Music Education has a robust advocacy section:

As well, below are some talking points and cited publications in the areas of economic rationale, 21st Century Skills, and education of the whole child.

Good luck!

Economic rationale
America’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating $29.6 billion in government revenue. – Arts Education in America: What the declines mean for arts participation, American for the Arts, 2011

Nationally, there are 756,007 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts. They employ 2.99 million people, representing 4.14 percent of all businesses and 2.17 percent of all employees, respectively. Dun & Bradstreet, Analysis by Americans for the Arts, 2011

Individuals and organizations that focus their efforts on doing what foreign knowledge workers can’t do cheaper, and computers can’t do faster, as well as on meeting the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual demands of a prosperous time, will thrive….. W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas, have examined ten years of employment data and discovered that the largest gains have been in jobs that require “people skills and emotional intelligence” and “imagination and creativity.” Daniel Pink – A Whole New Mind, 2005

21st Century Skills
(Critical thinking & problem solving, creativity & innovation, communication, collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy, flexibility & adaptability, initiative & self-direction, social & cross-cultural interaction, productivity & accountability, leadership & responsibility)
U.S. employers rate creativity/innovation among the top five skills that will increase in importance over the next five years, and rank it among the top challenges facing CEOs. In this study 97% of Superintendents rank music among the top courses most likely to develop creativity. – The Conference Board, Americans for the Arts, and the American Association of School Administrators, Ready to innovate, 2008

We need people who think with the creative side of their brains—people who have played in a band, who have painted, been involved in the community as volunteers. It enhances symbiotic thinking capabilities, not always thinking in the same paradigm, learning how to kick-start a new idea or how to get a job done better, less expensively.” – Annette Byrd Manager, Healthy Work Environment, GlaxoSmithKline, Quoted in Are They Really Ready To Work? pp. 50–51

An analysis of the National Standards for Music indicated a direct alignment with 21st century skills. Communication was positively aligned with 24 out of 27 standards, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving was aligned with 17 standards, and Flexibility and Adaptability with connections to 15 of the standards. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is presently engaged in creation of Common Core Standards for the Arts. 21st Century Skills, particularly Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration (The 4 Cs) will be embedded in these standards. – Arts Education Standards and 21st Century Skills: An Analysis of the National Standards for Arts Education (1994) As Compared to the 21st Century Skills Map for the Arts, The College Board, NCCAS, 2011

Education of the whole child
The College Entrance Exam Board found that students who take four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored 102 points higher on the SAT’s than students with only one-half year or less. – 2010 College-Bound Seniors: Total group Profile Report, The College Board, 2010

The Dana Consortium in a the study entitled, Learning, Arts, and the Brain (2008), found using brain imaging students and behavioral assessments in a three-year research project that training in music appears to improve skills in geometric representation, as well as the acquisition of reading skills and sequence learning. The Dana Consortium of Arts and Cognition, Dana Press, 2008

Recent research supports that focused training in any of the arts – such as music, dance, or theatre, strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn can improve cognition more generally. – Posner & Patoine, How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition, The Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition, Dana Press, 2009

Research has shown that music training leads to changes throughout the auditory system that prime musicians for listening challenges beyond music processing. This effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness. Therefore, the role of music in shaping individual development deserves consideration. – “Music training for the development of auditory skills,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 11, August 2010.