Advocacy

Music changes the way young people think and behave. The skills your child will learn in music will help them be successful on the stage, in the classroom, and for the rest of their lives. Music helps to ensure life-long success and is part of a well-rounded education!

What skills will my child gain in K-12 Music Education?

Emotional

Music provides a creative outlet and a safe place for students to express themselves in multiple ways while becoming more sensitive to the preferences and feelings of others. In studying music of various genres and cultures, students develop empathy for people different than themselves and gain a deeper understanding of the human experience. Music students also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.

Social

Participating in musical groups promotes self confidence, teamwork, social skills, social networking, a sense of belonging, self-discipline, a sense of accomplishment, cooperation, responsibility, commitment, mutual support, and friendships. Students learn to convey ideas and emotions through musical performance, and in doing so develop a greater awareness of nuance, complexity, structure, emphasis, and theme, which can enhance verbal and written communication skills.

Academic

Music students have higher academic achievement than their peers. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances general organizing structures that children inevitably use in other areas including language development, spatial-temporal reasoning, pattern recognition, critical think, and so much more. Schools with music programs have significantly higher graduation and attendance rates than those without music programs.

Personal

Through music, students become better people, as they develop self-discipline, confidence, commitment, responsibility, good decision making, and personal pride. Students learn the value of persistence, and of working hard for an uncertain outcome while solving problems from a variety of viewpoints. They are able to do this with the support of peers in a safe and risk free environment.

Statistics on the benefits of music instruction

  • 70% of admissions officers of the nation’s major universities say high school credit and achievement in the arts are significant considerations for admission.
  • According to the College Entrance Examination Board, public music program students scored 107 points higher on the SAT than their peers.
  • Lewis Thomas, physician and biologist, found that music majors comprise the highest percentage of accepted medical students-66% to be exact.
  • The combined results of 30 studies indicate that music instruction is linked to significantly improved reading skills.
  • Students who participate in music have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs among any group in our society.
  • Students involved in music get higher grades, score higher in math, have higher graduation rates, and do better with foreign languages.

What are others saying about music education?

“Music has taught me how to work hard, how to work with others, to give of myself for a greater purpose and, most importantly, music gave me a family and a home within my school.”

-Music Student

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities...the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”

– Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

“Music is exciting. It is thrilling to be sitting in a group of musicians playing the same piece of music. You are part of a great, powerful, vibrant entity. And nothing beats the feeling you get when you've practiced a difficult section over and over and finally get it right. Music is important. It says things your heart can't say any other way, and in a language everyone speaks. Music crosses borders, turns smiles into frowns, and vice versa. These observations are shared with a hope: that, when schools cut back on music classes, they really think about what they're doing - and don't take music for granted.”

– Dan Rather, CBS News

How can you help advocate for SASD music programs?

  • Encourage your child to participate in music. There will be times that children feel stuck or unmotivated in their learning. Help them stick to music by advocating they remain in music, even if the going is tough. The later success will pay off!
  • Join your school’s music booster club.
  • Talk about the music program or your child’s experiences with friends who also have children in the district.
  • Attend a school music concert. Invite others to come with you!
  • Write a letter or talk to your child’s principal about the benefits of music or your child’s positive experiences.

Links to further resources