From: Christina Flaherty & Kristin Navratil
We are two music students from WSU who recently conducted a survey in order to find out the perceptions of the public regarding the importance of music education in public schools. We found that 95% of the 100 Winona State University students and 30 other Winona citizens surveyed believe that music is an important subject to be taught in public schools. Two-thirds of the 130 surveyed go as far as thinking that courses in music are as important as courses dealing with science, mathematics, and English.
Although the number of Winonans surveyed was limited, this sampling suggests that Winona parents and future parents want to see music as a foundational part of education in the public schools. In fact, two-`thirds of those surveyed believed that music education should be offered at preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and in extracurricular settings. In other words, we want music education to not only exist in schools as an elementary school subject or a high school extracurricular activity, but as a part of the core curriculum from preschool to high school. We want music taught all the way through.
But what is it about music education that makes it so deserving of our support and of the limited funding available in the Winona public school system?
We would argue that music education gives students the chance to learn about and develop themselves as creators, performers, listeners, feelers, and thinkers. It cultivates discipline. It promotes expressivity. It builds individuality and community. Music involves the mind, the body, and the soul, and is therefore deserving of being taught in our schools.
If the point of this brief article were to prove the great importance of music education and its positive effects on students, we would continue to write and write and write. But for now, we would simply like to leave you with our results - 95% of those surveyed, both students and parents alike, believe music is an important subject to be taught in public schools. Let’s unite in our support of music education and work to keep funding and to maintain the fine music programs in Winona. Music deserves a place in the education of our children.