Many of us absolutely believe that including the arts in education is a good thing. We know from decades of research that requiring the arts in education helps lead to students becoming more well rounded and better at traditional subjects like math, english, science and history. Students who have music and art courses go on to valuable and important non-arts careers like doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and more. However, despite the majority of us believing this is a good thing, not many are willing to advocate for the arts to be required or even included in elementary and secondary education. Even more surprising, is that many music and art teachers themselves don't appear to be openly rallying for this cause.
I came across an article published recently where the author, Stephanie Milling, does an excellent job of analyzing this situation and helping us understand some of the misconceptions that often deter us from fully advocating for the arts. Stephanie is the Assistant Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University where she teaches Dance, Women’s Studies, and Honors coursework. Ms. Milling's list of possible reasons for our hesitancy to act includes the issue being seen as too political, or not wise to pursue being a state-employed teacher, or simply appearing as too big or too daunting a task. The responses that Stephanie gives for each of the reasons that hold people back are quite convincing. I believe if more teachers and non-teachers learned more about them they would be more likely to actively help promote the cause.
If you believe that our schools should at a minimum offer music and art education as an elective, then I urge you to check out this brief article and see if afterwards you don't want to jump in and help: Developing Arts Advocates - The Future of the Arts
Speaking of helping out, our "Keep Music Alive" Mission is looking for volunteers to help with research for our upcoming book "88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life" and to help promote the cause both online and offline. Even if you can offer just a few hours a week either long term or short term your efforts would be really important. Any help you can offer would be absolutely appreciated PLUS you'll get your name in the book along with a complimentary copy once the book is released. Post a comment here or simply message us on Facebook over at www.facebook.com/KeepMusicAliveMission
That's all for today folks - Stop back in a days for another post and to keep up to date with "Keep Music Alive" please visit us on Facebook. Thanks and have a great Sundayyyy!
Music, Love & Laughter,
Vincent James @ LoveSongs.com