We Need Music: The Importance of Music Education

My name is Taylor Turner, and I am a popular music major and a business administration minor. I am from a small town in South Jersey called Clarksboro, and I went to high school at Kingsway Regional High School, in Woolwich, New Jersey.  I go to William Paterson for many different reasons, but an obvious factor would have to be its flourishing music business program. Once I figured out that I wanted to go into music, I scoured a lot of lists boasting the best music business schools, and time and time again William Paterson showed up. That’s when I knew I had to come here, and I have not regretted my decision since. 

We Need Music: The Importance of Music Education

Have you ever seen the movie School of Rock? Do you remember how much a music education changed those students’ lives? They previously led such boring, quiet lives before their crazy substitute teacher, Dewey Finn, shook up their worlds. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sadly, many schools are cutting their music programs from the curriculum. Not everyone can afford private lessons to supplement what they are not getting from school, so they might miss out entirely on learning about music. This is a major problem. The presence of music in a child’s education can help them dramatically as they get older.

Benefits of Music Education K-12

Participating in an ensemble helps you build soft skills, like perseverance, teamwork, and time management, which are often overlooked. Unfortunately, too many schools only consider what math and science classes can give you. They consider those “hard skills” drastically more valuable than soft skills. Music classes can provide equally important life skills that are extremely marketable when it comes to applying for jobs. 

Also, playing an instrument is a great way to concentrate a child’s creative energy. Sometimes when kids don’t have anything productive to do, they go towards more destructive behavior because they don’t know what do with their time. Involving a child in music, whether it be lessons or a class, can change their lives forever. Instead of joining a gang or just sitting around, they can apply themselves to something beautiful and be proud of what they have created.

Music can also help a child’s self-esteem. If a child is allowed to engage in music and they are good at it, then they have found their purpose. People can be amazing musicians, but awful test-takers. Some abilities don’t show up on a scantron quiz. If children consistently see themselves doing poorly in school, then they may lose ambition. They will probably lose interest in school and any hope that they are good at anything. Music could possibly be the subject in which they excel, but without that exposure at school, they may never know.

Another aspect of music education that many people forget about is the high potential of friends. Band kids have some of the most tightly knit friend groups out there. They work for months on pieces, spend time together outside of school, and bond over their love of music. The connections that music kids form can last a lifetime.

Benefits of Music Education in College and Beyond

Majoring in any kind of music (performance, business, sound engineering, or education) helps perpetuate the strength and beauty of music. When you major in music, you just become immersed in it and your classmates become your teammates. Among the different years, classes, and studies, there is so much wonderful and productive collaboration. We all help each other in different ways, both musically and non-musically.

FILM STILL - WHIPLASH - Whiplash-7121.cr2 Miles Teller as Andrew<br /> Photo by Daniel McFadden, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

A still from Whiplash, a movie about  the struggles of a dedicated college drummer

When we finally go out into the world, we are either creating, performing, teaching, or simply facilitating the power of music. We could be working in the A&R department at Warner Music, scouting new talent. We could also be teaching a class of 3rd graders about the importance of Bach. We could even be producing the next #1 pop album.

It all starts when we are young, but it finally comes to fruition when we are adults and can truly share our skills with the world. Music is therapeutic, exciting, motivating, saddening, and everything in between.

We have to make sure that everyone has a chance to add to the magic that is music. If these programs keep being removed from school curriculums, then that magic is being strangled at the source. We may not have all had teachers like Dewey Finn, but we can still appreciate what music can do for us.

We need music, and music needs us.

Still don’t believe me? Check out this video about the importance of music education from a young age.

Believe me now? Good. I will leave you with this awesome playlist of songs by a random assortment of artists. Enjoy!


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