The Music Education Crisis in America

Something disturbing is happening around the city I live in. Art programs are losing their funding, theaters are lacking in attendance, and music and arts are being pulled from school systems. I understand that the economy is tight nowadays, and that there are “essential” things students have to learn in school such as history, math, english, and the sciences, but unfortunately music is being pushed to the fringes and altogether eliminated from class offerings in school districts with smaller budgets. And this isn’t just a phenomenon happening in my area. School districts all across the country, and even in places like California that seem to be meccas of art and music, music and art education are taking a hit. In 2009, California diverted $109 million from music programs, resulting in closed music departments across half of California’s 10,000-plus public schools.According to, Educators in New York City have estimated that only about 15% of public school students have the opportunity to receive proper music education by the time they reach high school.

The key point to understand is not simply that music and arts are “good” and “fun,” but that they stimulate the brain in ways that core subjects do not, and give students a way to express themselves that pulls them in a positive direction. With so many negative influences out there, giving kids a way to  come together and enjoy/express themselves in a safe space and learn a skill that they would enjoy using for the rest of their lives. Music and arts are a great way to relieve stress, build up a new skill, and find new and exciting ways to meet and interact with other people. Without these programs, children are being d of huge personal and cognitive benefits.



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