In the 1960s and 1970s, most public schools in the United States had regular music and arts programs as part of their curriculum. Art teachers and music teachers were employed by the schools and children from kindergarten received instruction in both music and art.
Every week the children had singing lessons, were introduced to instruments and learned about the great composers. Art classes included the use of mediums such as watercolor, charcoal, and tempura, as well as art history classes and exposure to artists from across the centuries. Children were provided with all the materials they would need and musical instruments were rented for a small fee to families who did not have their own.
Sometime around the early 1980s, music and art classes ended in public schools. Budget cuts were blamed, and schools had to struggle to raise the money to continue their arts and music programs in schools. Art and music teachers were not reinstated and classroom teachers tried to take over. Much of what they taught was based on what they had learned from professional art and music teachers over the years. Schools in more affluent areas have been able to continue their programs, in large part because of donations of time and supplies from their parents, who were able to support them financially.
In the 1990s, music and arts programs experienced a resurgence due to the efforts of the large artistic and musical communities who saw the need for this type of instruction in the public schools. Movies like Mr. Holland’s Opus opened our eyes to the need for these programs by our young people.
Do music and arts programs in schools really help our children learn academic subjects more easily? Music is associated with mathematics, patterns and memory functions. Art stimulates a part of the brain that has been associated with writing skills. Music and arts programs contribute to our children’s academic progress and should be an integral part of their school curriculum.
Thanks to Connie Ragen Green | #Art #music #pedagogy #public #schools #importance #subjects