“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ~ Plato
Last night I resumed teaching a music class to pre-service educators, and was reminded of what had initially motivated me to learn the skills needed to teach music to young children. I was reminded of how bringing music into the daily lives of children made everything better – my own feelings about creative teaching, curriculum planning, and the
belief that I was making a positive difference in their lives. This is why I share music with children at every opportunity, and why I share music with other educators. It is as important to impart these ideas to future teachers as it is to help them build a repertoire for providing music experiences. Why shouldn’t teachers believe that there is a higher purpose to what they are doing, and to the role they are playing in who a child is now, today, and who they could become? Music education is vital to children’s total learning
and development and I just can’t imagine what it would be like for children to have
an education where music instruction is not a part of that education, whether
in child care or at school.
That is why it is so very disheartening to see arts programs threatened by funding cuts, in times where it is so difficult for school boards to decide where to allocate limited dollars.
This short article sums up a current situation being faced by itinerant music instructors at the Toronto District School Board. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/toronto-district-school-board-eyes-slashing-music-program-1777052.htm . How sad that music is so often viewed as less essential to children’s learning than other subjects. And how unfortunate that children who have been enjoying and benefitting from music instruction might lose the opportunity to learn from skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated music teachers. I think it is important to support itinerant music instructors, and to make the case for arts programs in the schools. The lives of children are enriched with these experiences that teach them vital skills, give them confidence and a sense of belonging, and lay down the foundation for what could be a love and deep appreciation of the arts, and a lifetime of creative expression.
Anyone who has ever visited my blog knows that I have never hidden my love of music and of an arts curriculum for the very young. I am not ashamed of the position I take on the value of arts experiences, both for children and their teachers. While I don’t typically do this sort of thing, I want to share with you a petition that is being circulated, to raise
awareness of what is lost when arts programs that are offered in schools – programs
that may be the only arts education available to many children – are taken
away. If you value arts education for children, as I do, please consider looking at and signing this petition. Share it with others who also support the work of itinerant music instructors, and the difference they make in children’s lives. The contribution of music teachers to children’s learning is something we can try to preserve, as artists, educators and citizens, for children who are tomorrow’s artists, educators and citizens.