Should music be a required subject in schools?

Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch (a.k.a. Florence Henderson) and NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teamed up yesterday to petition the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan . Their goal is to make music education- or at least the arts – a core subject in a student’s education.

Currently, Minnesota standards require just one credit of arts education for a student to graduate from high school. That’s compared to four credits of language arts, three and a half credits in social studies, and three credits each in math and science. That art class could come in the form of music, dance, theater, or media arts. In addition students are required to take at least seven electives.

What do you think? What would be the benefit of taking music, or any art class, every year of your education? Would it come at the cost of electives? Or some other core class? Students who have a natural affinity for the arts have the choice of taking those classes as electives, so why force students who aren’t naturally interested? What’s the benefit?

  • Tiffany

    What purpose for those who don’t have a natural affinity for math, social studies, or language? School is supposed to be a time to explore and learn where your affinities lie and gain a foundational understanding of the world. Arts and arts industries are a fundamental core of our culture, and should also be noted as our primary export. How could it not be important for our children to have at least a basic understanding of this field?

  • Matthew

    Absolutely it should be required. My experiences with the arts in high school were some of the best moments of my life to date, and I’ve since then grown to realize how underappreciated yet critical aspect they are – not only within our society, but any culture.