Archived Letter – 1048

Recently, I have been reading about school boards who appear to be demonstrating through their action or inaction that music education is a luxury rather than a staple. In past decades we have also seen this happen, and I am confident that this is not the last time. It would appear that education officials at various levels prioritize “core” subjects ahead of music. This is sad and ironic.

I was lucky to begin instrumental classes in grade 7 (a long time ago) and have no doubt that those learnings changed my professional life and the level of success that I have attained. Music education trains and exercises so many aspects of a student’s faculties. One must read & understand, count, play or sing, listen, and watch the conductor. One must also adjust in real time to how the leader conducts, or to what the student believes is appropriate as they listen to those around them.

I would suggest that in this fast-paced technology-oriented world, those who are skilled at multi-tasking and multi-processing will be those who have the highest chance for success. Can anyone name another school subject that offers this same development opportunity?

I don’t for a moment suggest that music is more important than English, French, Science Mathematics or Sports. I do however assert that music education is of equal value. While it is wonderful that students have been organizing to save their school music programs, it should be the parents who are pushing this. After all, it is the parents who have a vested interest in the success of their children.

Steve Hornett