Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Music in Education

Well, I seem to be on a roll now with soap box issues. I find it absolutely astounding that civilizations are defined by their culture and yet the minute a school finds itself in financial trouble, arts education is the first thing to go.

What do we know of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians - or even more modern cultures - that doesn't consist primarily of its art? Music, Art, Architecture, Poetry, Writings...these are the things that define a people. These are the things that last. I defy you to find an exhibit of Roman pottery that isn't plastered with images of lyres, dancing, flutes. Images of musicians, stringed instruments are found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Music has been around as long as there has been any record of human activity. Pictures of bows being used as musical instruments date back 70,000 years. Seventy. Thousand. Years. Music is used to heal. Music is used to celebrate, to mourn, to mark our life's events.

Imagine a world without music.

What movie is complete without music? Music has power - not just to soothe the savage breast, but to effect changes in cultural philosophy. Just ask Bob Dylan. How many slaves made it to freedom singing "Follow the Drinking Gourd?"

In Fulton County, Georgia the School Board has voted to cut instrumental music and foreign language from elementary schools. 400 teachers will lose their jobs. This is happening all over our country. I know of this particular instance because I have a nephew and two nieces who go to school there. The residents of Fulton County have a small window of opportunity - the budget will not be finalized until June. My brother has written a petition, to be presented to the Fulton County School Board before the vote. Please take a moment and sign it. You do not have to be a resident of Fulton County to believe that this is a grave mistake. Here is the home page with some basic information as well.

Where exactly do they think the High School orchestra will get its musicians?

I thank you in advance for your signature and for helping to spread the word.


Blogger PFG said...

I done signed it. I read the news story too. It seems like the state needs to pick up some of the cost there. It also kind of looks like there's a sort of economic segregation going on - I'll bet not every school district is so strapped for money. Rrrg. It's shit like this that makes me so annoyed when Walmarts move in to town. They often get tax breaks (which put more burden on individual property, state income, and sales tax) because they supposedly add to the economic development of an area.

1:12 PM, April 04, 2006  
Blogger Trina said...

Done! This seriously makes me want to cry. I can still play the Star Wars theme song and Chariots of Fire on a recorder, thanks to elementary school music education!

What the hell is wrong with people these days??? I see school/education referendums voted down routinely in my state, and it KILLS me.

6:58 AM, April 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petition says that residents of Fulton County are eligible to sign. Can I sign anyway?


2:57 PM, April 07, 2006  
Blogger cjblue said...

I think he wants *mostly* Fulton County members, but I think that anybody who has something to say about the situation or believes strongly in retaining these programs should sign.

Thanks for caring!

4:15 PM, April 07, 2006  
Blogger sharon said...

- signed -

1:40 AM, April 09, 2006  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

This is stupid. Penny wise and pound foolish. If you want kids' math grades to rise, give them more music instruction, not less. There's research to back that up. Music education doesn't only benefit kids' appreciation of the arts, it benefits their ability to think spatially and mathematically.

*shakes head*

7:19 PM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger PFG said...

Oh where oh where is my cjblue, oh where oh where can she be?
Busy, I know. I miss you.

12:46 PM, April 11, 2006  

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