I was looking through my Google Alerts, as I do every morning, and found yet another study that shows the correlation between fine arts instruction and academic success. (It was from an article that was written by Ms. Sondra Collins in Marion County, Florida. See link below.) This is no surprise to arts educators everywhere; we have known this for quite some time. There is study after study done that supports this, yet when budget cuts are needed, fine arts is more often than not, the first on the chopping block. Why is this?
As a society, we support movie stars and rock stars. We listen to music throughout our day in various forms and watch TV, probably more than we should. How is it that we don’t see the connection between what entertains us and what is taught in school? The disconnect may lie in the lenses in which we view our fun. When we see a brilliant film or hear a piece of music that moves us, we forget that there is an underlying knowledge that the creator must have in order to create. This isn’t to say that all successful artists are brilliant, but most people can tell the difference between the fluff and the real thing….and its the real thing that we, as music educators, are trying to promote.
Ms. Collins calls upon us to shout from the rooftops the importance of music education. They always say that politics is local and I believe this to be true here as well. When we get our communities involved and show them what is possible, we get our message out there. The more we promote our programs, the more people will see the importance of the Arts. Let us join her and help get the word out!