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Community Warns Against Ignoring Music Education for Test Scores

Community Warns Against Ignoring Music Education for Test Scores

In Michigan's New Haven Community Schools, most thought music education was part of its past as core academic programs took financial priority over what was considered the "luxury" study of music.

According to The Detroit Free Press, the district's superintendent, Keith Wunderlich, believes in the importance of music education because "music is less a road to riches and fame than it is a path to real learning for countless kids in communities across the nation."

Four years ago, Wunderlich watched his district's music education dwindle to the point where he thought, surely, there was no return.

"To protect core academic programs, local public schools must make tough choices every day. Music is often the first to go. Four years ago, New Haven was in that position. Much loved as it was, our music program could not escape the difficult cut," he said, according to the article.

But at some point over the course of those four years until now, community member stepped up and began making donations to get music back into its schools.

"They dug up old sheet music. They donated old clarinets, flutes, guitars, drum sets and more that had been gathering dust in attics, spare bedrooms and garages. In addition to musical instruments, the community gave our students their time and financial support."

Not only did students and the community alike appreciate the result of the efforts to reinvigorate music education, the district was recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants in 2014 for its commitment to music education.

While Wunderlich says music education is not measured on the state's standardized assessment, the MAEP, he argues that it should rightfully have its place so it can be offered in all schools throughout Michigan. He argues that his district's success is enough to stand testament to this.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/27/2015

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