Fill the Cup of Silence: This is a problem/solution paper concerning music education

Essay by guitarloser420University, Bachelor'sA, December 2004

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"You know music education is something very dear to my heart. When I was in high school I had music teacher, a wonderful man named Virgil Sperling who taught me a lot more than scales and keys and how to hold a steady note on the saxophone. He taught me about patience and practice, hard work and dedication and teamwork. The music I made on that first tenor saxophone of mine wasn't always beautiful to the ear--my mother can certainly testify to that. But as I learned and improved, I came to understand how important a musical instrument can be as an outlet for creativity, for ideas and emotions that only music can express." (William Clinton)

It is no secret that standardized testing scores of students of all ages have seen a decline in recent times. However, school boards seem to be taking a step in the wrong direction.

More and more schools have been forced to cut back on music and other art departments, some to the point of extinction; this is not the answer, rather creating a bigger problem.

Children who had received piano keyboard instruction scored thirty-four percent higher than the others on tests designed to measure spatial-temporal reasoning. Because these functions are critical components in the understanding of subjects like mathematics, science and engineering, this body of research has significant implications for public education policy. (Joan Schmidt; Research, Music and Policy Debates)

This, however, is not the standard, not even close to being average. One American school in five fails to offer music or art classes - even once a week - according to an Education Department study. Even at schools where the courses are offered, not everyone takes part. For example, only one in four eighth graders reported being asked to sing or...