To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Laconia School Superintendent Phil McCormack:
I write to you today on behalf of the New Hampshire Music Educators Association, which represents over 400 music educators, collegiate members, and the many communities in which we work.
I implore you to reconsider the value of music education to your students, school district, and community. It is imperative that a comprehensive and sequential music education be offered to all K-12 students.
Music education has a demonstrable positive impact on learning and has been shown to transcend socioeconomic levels. A study published in the Journal of Research for Music Education, found that students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.
Studies showing the link between engagement in music and academic achievement are a small part of a much bigger picture. Music shapes the way our students understand themselves and the world around them. It fosters many 21st century skills, such as creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. These skills are in high demand for today's work force and will significantly improve a person's day-to-day interactions within their community.
Beyond test scores, music education holds inherent benefits by supporting emotional awareness, reflective learning, process orientation, decision-making skills, and grit. These inherent benefits are the attributes of a broader-minded education and are what will set our students apart in the modem working world.
The enumeration of music as a well-rounded subject, replacing the core academic subject language from NCLB, clearly articulates that music should be a part of every child's education, no matter their personal circumstance. Moving music classes outside of the school day limits access to the curriculum, devalues music and the arts as a part of a well-rounded education, and creates unnecessary conflict between the music program and after-school activities.
I highly encourage you to include all music classes as a part of the school day to ensure all K-12 students receive a comprehensive and sequential music education. In doing so you will hold true to your school district's mission of "Ensuring success with every student, every day, every way!''
Sean Meagher, Chair
Council for Advocacy & Membership Outreach
N.H. Music Educators Association
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