Tonight as I was rummaging through old papers, I ran across interesting samples of my daughter's school work. In particular, I found a short essay she wrote in sixth grade that responded to the prompt: "Music should remain part of the school curriculum because ..." I remember the night she wrote that essay because she entered it into an on-line essay contest and she had to struggle to keep the number of words under 250. I also remember thinking that it was good. Tonight, I was even more intrigued by what she had to say because she made very important points. Here is what she wrote:
"Music should remain part of the school curriculum because it taps into a different part of the soul that academics cannot reach. Sure, a person can be good at math, or have amazing vocabulary skills, but music is another language. It is different from everything else taught, and learning music is not something easily tapped into as an adult.
Part of why it is important to keep music in the curriculum is that most people are not in an environment where they are encouraged to take part in musical activities. In school, a person has a chance to explore it.
Learning to play an instrument is a "life skill" that may help them later on because it increases their knowledge about the world. In addition, it gives them something interesting to talk about. Knowing how to play an instrument creates activities where someone can meet others who share the same passion, even creating life-long friends.
Music is a powerful tool that people use to get their thoughts and feelings across. It is an important part of our lives. Without it, forms of communication, venting emotions, and spiritual awareness could not be accessed.
As a society, how can we neglect something that makes us feel better after doing it? How could we ever hope to achieve high levels of music making without proper education? Music must remain part of our curriculum if we want to be an educated and happy society." --Elibba Dean