I have to admit, it’s a completely bizarre concept for me to imagine my primary school experience without music classes. That always seemed to be the one thing everyone could agree on, and the one class that we all looked forward to. Music class was that one time where we were allowed to be a little more free spirited, not so confined to the space of our desks, and were encouraged to be as loud as possible. I think that’s important for kids, for them to know that they can and are being heard.
The experiences I had in those music classes each year helped build a foundation for me to stand on, and fuel my passion and interest even more. As I progressed more and more in my studies, through secondary and high school, I always found myself looking back on the absolute bliss of those simple classes when my studies got hard. Those memories always helped to further build a positive and determined mindset for the future I had in mind for myself.
I’m a big believer in the fact that music education is part of a child’s complete education in school. However, not all public primary schools have the ability to afford instruments, or programs, an insinuation that perhaps, neither do the families at home in those districts. That was the reason I was so thrilled to come across a program VH1 Network founded called the Save the Music Foundation.
The Foundation helps these underprivileged schools develop sustainable, long term instrumental music programs that promote equal access, no matter what financial situation the families may be in. As well as funding the music program, Save the Music also aids the school districts in funding music teacher’s salaries as well as the provision and supplies, and the scheduling of music classes during the day.
This program has already made a huge impact nationwide since its founding in 1997. The official Facebook page documents how the foundation has assisted 1,750 public schools over those years in over one hundred cities with $47 million worth of new musical instruments. 1.6 million children have been positively affected by this foundation and the funding of instruments in their schools.
As a result, Save the Music’s official website proudly states that, “Music education is not only important for its intrinsic value, but research consistently demonstrated that students who study an instrument enhance their critical thinking skills and their ability to work together as a team. They are more engaged in school and less likely to drop out; and they do significantly better in all of their academic endeavors.”
From a young girl in elementary school who dreamed about playing the flute, then the snare drum, then finally settling with the violin for three years, I know from experience how music and music education affects lives. Because of the encouragement I received at such a young age to learn how to play an instrument from music classes in school, I honestly believe that I became a stronger student all around, who learned discipline, repetition, and honest effort are keys to being successful.
Even now, as a college student, I fall back onto those structures at school. The feeling I got out of those simple instruments in elementary school fueled my curiosity and confidence as well, and resulted in me joining both my primary, secondary, and high school choirs, in which we competed at state level. Every year, it seemed, my passion for my creative outlet grew more and more. College has only supported it more, now that I have taken up piano classes, voice lessons, and both gospel and concert choirs.
Music education is vital to a child’s complete education in school. We go through so many phases in life, but music is one of the very few things in our lives that stay consistent; it is always there. Whether it’s celebrities or music teachers who encourage it, donations or districts that fund it, or classmates or families who encourage it, you can’t get away from the impact that music has on all of our lives. Music shouldn’t just be available to those who can afford it. Everyone deserves music in their lives. Find a school near you, or on the list at http://www.vh1savethemusic.com/schools to see where you can make a difference.