Argumentative Essay about Music

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Throughout America, schools are suffering from nationwide budget cuts. Unfortunately, music programs are victims of the devastating blow. Many children are being forced to take lessons outside of school which can be financially difficult for a family. Taking music programs out of schools can affect a child both in and out of the educational system.

Budget cuts are affecting American education in more ways than just music. “…120 school districts” were forced to minimize education and remove a day of school each week (HuffPost). Unfortunately, schools such as these are having to remove field trips from the school calendar because they can no longer afford the costs (HuffPost). In “School Budget Cuts: How Students Say Slashes Are Affecting Them,” an article last updated in 2017, it states, “In California, …nearly half the districts axed or whittled away at art, drama, and music programs.” Cuts such as these are the tornadoes of the educational world destroying anything in their path. Music along with many other programs is losing its platform and vanishing from schools across America (HuffPost). Because music is not a mandatory class required to graduate, schools are ridding themselves of these types of programs. In the eyes of the school board, music does not stand a chance compared to the big dogs such as math, science, history, etc. There is no longer a large range of courses that are available for a student to take (HuffPost). This reduces the opportunities for students to choose what studies best suit their interests. According to the same article, “…cuts to just programs and teachers-leading to fewer opportunities and larger class sizes- have been shown to affect student’s college readiness” (HuffPost). Are we accomplishing anything if we cannot provide the upcoming generation of adults with an education suited for their futures?

Because of the decrease in funding, students who want to pursue music education are forced to look outside of the school for potential teachers and programs. This not only is inconvenient to both the child and his guardians, but it can be a financial burden for the family as a whole. Music lessons can be very expensive based on the teacher, instrument, and skill level of the child. These factors can make it difficult to find a cost-friendly music lesson that fully provides and meets the needs of the student. According to Richard Fry and Rakesh Kochhar who are both economists, “About half of American adults lived in the middle-income [45,200-135,600] households in 2016...” Although middle-class living in the American culture is still comfortable compared to global economic struggles, most American families still struggle when added bills hit the household budget. The more members that are a part of the family and the more needs that are to be met, quickly diminish any money that comes through the front door of the house. These statistics are just for middle-class families, but the families who live in the lower class are affected more significantly. Sadly, with the music programs disappearing, students who have financial difficulties and cannot afford music lessons are forced to put their dreams on hold.

As with most areas of life, there are a few potential cons that are mixed in with the pros. These negatives are sometimes present when music programs are allowed to remain in schools. With managing both academic requirements and musical requirements, children may begin to feel overwhelmed with all that is expected of them (Pros and Cons). A child should never be made to feel overwhelmed in order to enjoy an activity that should be for recreational enjoyment. Children have a lot on their plates as it is, and adding another element is not always positive. If a child is struggling with time management and responsibility, the parent or legal guardian should step in and take charge to make the best decision based on the individual’s needs. Deciphering whether or not to remove a child from a program can be difficult, but keeping the child’s best interest at hand will be helpful and encouraging when making this tough decision.

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While juggling all of his extracurricular activities, a child may lose needed time with family due to the time demand of homework and practicing their instrument (Pros and Cons). Family time is essential in a child’s life because it gives them an interaction with people that they will not be able to match outside of the home. Although there are some family situations that are not ideal, children need that extra attention from parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. Another con of having extracurricular activities in a child’s daily life is feeling exhausted from the lack of rest that they have received (Pros and Cons). Young children and teenagers need to have around eight hours of sleep a day for their bodies to work properly. In fact, children need all of the sleep that they can possibly get since their bodies are still developing and their minds are still maturing. Though these challenges and potential negatives may arise, there are several options for helping a child find proper balance in alleviating the problem.

There are many benefits that accompany playing a musical instrument. One study determined that students who play music are observed to have benefitted in the area of “cognitive abilities” such as memory (Habibi). Musicians are constantly practicing memorizing pieces of information. Hand placement on an instrument, chording for songs, and the correct order to play notes all require great memory and help a child advance in the ability to memorize information. Memorization not only helps a child in musical situations, but it also aids a child in the full educational realm. According to a study that was mentioned in the article “Music Training and Child Development: A Review of Recent Findings from a Longitudinal Study,” a difference was found between the brains of musicians and the brains of people who do not partake in playing music. Furthermore, the study also showed that there were changes in behavioral statuses that did not have to do with “biological traits” (Habibi). Although the potential cons are present the benefits strongly support maintaining music programs in schools.

By learning a musical instrument, children are given the opportunity to express themselves (Pros and Cons). It is difficult for some children to correctly express how they feel or what they want to say. Children with special needs really struggle in this area. They are left without words because their brains either cannot properly communicate what they want to say or their nerves cannot properly relay the message from their brains to their mouths. Music Therapy has been proven to aid children and help them accomplish their communication goals. In “Music teacher perceptions of Issues and Problems in urban elementary schools,” Jennifer Doyle expresses that having music programs in schools allows a child to tell their own story and show others their voice (34). Children have a voice, and they should be heard.

There are many essential aspects of life that are improved when a child practices music, but one of the most important is responsibility. Adding music to one’s agenda teaches them that responsibility is key in life and that it takes a lot of commitment to stay on the right path (Pros and Cons). Though a child may feel overwhelmed at first with this new activity at hand, he will soon learn the important lifelong lesson of keeping everything in order and making time for all that is to be done. Time management is essential in life and should be learned at a very early age. Because humans are prone to procrastinate, learning what time management really helps a child get ahead of the game and not cower in fear of his responsibilities. Music also gives students a break from the continuous academic learning that goes on throughout the school day. Sitting in class for seven to eight hours a day can be a real struggle for smaller children and even teenagers. Children with special needs experience significant struggle in sitting still for long periods of time, especially when they are forced to stay in a confined space with little to no interaction. Breaking up the school day can be beneficial because it can prolong a child’s attention span. Music is an interactive way of learning which is great for children who prefer to learn by repeating a process and not just watching as the teacher demonstrates how to do something. According to Jennifer Doyle, through music a child can, “…form strong connections to their education” (33) As a result of teaching a child different genres of music, he is able to learn about the cultures around him and connect to his own heritage (33). Learning about the different cultures in today’s society is very important especially since America is becoming more diverse by the minute. Teaching a child about the ancestry of music can enlighten the child and give him a greater appreciation for the musicians who worked hard to give us the musical resources and opportunities that we see today. Last but certainly not least, music can save children who may need a little extra help in different areas of their lives (34). Goss-Shields, 1997 states, “Teaching through the arts helps at-risk students get in touch with their individuality and unique style of expression” (34). Music can be a positive outlet for children allowing them to freely vent about their day-to-day lives.

As demonstrated in this writing, taking music programs out of schools can negatively affect children. Schools should learn how to deal with these detrimental budget cuts without cutting music out of children’s lives. We can ALL help. Fundraising is a possible answer to saving music programs. People who are able to volunteer can step up and teach children what it is to be a true musician. It has been proven that music helps children in more than one way: teaching responsibility, improving cognitive abilities, and helping them express emotions. Music programs in schools give children a much-needed break from sitting in the classroom for hours upon hours a day. Education is very important, and maintaining music programs as a portion of the academic experience benefits children not only in the present but in preparation for a more successful future.

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Argumentative Essay about Music. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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