Column: Music education is a sound investment

By ROSI JOHNSON,

As any successful business owner can attest, to build a company to stand the test of time, one must make critical investments in its infrastructure and product to stay competitive. Such investments provide stability and longevity, setting up a business for success.

The same philosophy of investment can be applied to our schools and students, albeit a bit more creatively, through music and the arts.

In 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which gives states and school districts more local control, and recognizes music and arts as part of a “well-rounded” education for every student.

It also protects the classroom time for these subjects.

Via its own plans that align with ESSA, our state and local school district is implementing the new policies outlined in the federal education law; investment in our students is among the most important things we can do collectively and individually.

It is why I am headed to Washington, D.C. as part of a national coalition of passionate music advocates.

In late May, our delegation will meet with Members of Congress to make sure all students have the necessary tools they need in the classroom to truly be “well-rounded” and that all students have the opportunity to learn and grow with music.

The impact of arts education well exceeds the school years.

In fact, research demonstrates that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college, and only a few years of musical training early in life improves how the brain processes sound, even later in life.

Social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

This research-based evidence means that through music and arts, we’re giving our students cognitive, social and physical benefits that will last a lifetime.

Music is an essential part of life, and if we as a community and nation are serious about producing the leaders of tomorrow, let’s make this sound investment today and fund these vital programs for lifelong success.

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