If we take a moment to look at school music programs around our nation, we may be inclined to believe that music instrument instruction is a luxury reserved for a select few. We may also be holding on to an archaic belief that only a small percentage of students are capable of learning an instrument, or are “naturally talented” in the arts. But what is the truth of the matter? Under all the right circumstances, what percentage of children in school are “meant” to stick with a musical instrument?
The fact is, all students would be better served if they learned an instrument as part of school curricula, and I would argue that schools are denying the opportunity for most students to realize a passion and desire to play an instrument throughout their K-12 education. There are many who argue that there is a large percentage of students who aren’t musically talented or don’t have the desire to play, but I contest that conditions in schools and the way music is valued by our system (and therefore our communities) creates that lack of “desire”.
So how do we level the playing field? What are some of the “right” circumstances that will allow music to be an essential component of every school day? Here are some ways that schools can create an appropriate environment for students to enjoy music as part of their core education: