Q:

Should school music programs be cut?

A:

Quick Answer

Music programs can have long-lasting educational benefits and should therefore not be cut, according to Tavis Smiley Reports on PBS. Although such programs can be costly and the benefits are not easily measured, cutting art education can have a negative impact on students.

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Full Answer

When school budgets are cut back, art programs such as music are often the first to go. The benefits of music programs do not immediately show up in test scores. In addition, many do not see arts as necessary skills for employment and therefore cannot justify the cost of music programs. However, music programs offer many educational benefits.

Learning how to play music can have fundamental changes on the brain, according to a Concordia University study authored by Virginia Penhune. The benefits can include an improved connection between the left and right sides of the brain, better communication skills and boosted motor skills. They can also include improved concentration and memorization skills. The effects are similar to learning a foreign language, states U.S. News.

Music and other forms of art can also help develop teamwork, leadership and collaboration skills because many of these artful endeavors require students to work together as a group. Music can also build a sense of commitment and offer students a sense of engagement.

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