Benefit One: Success in Society
Perhaps the basic reason that every child must have an education in music is that music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music for each individual is widely recognized in the many cultures that make up American life — indeed, every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. The importance of music to our economy is without doubt. And the value of music in shaping individual abilities and character are attested in a number of places:
- Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). — Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998
- “Music is a magical gift we must nourish and cultivate in our children, especially now as scientific evidence proves that an education in the arts makes better math and science students, enhances spatial intelligence in newborns, and let's not forget that the arts are a compelling solution to teen violence, certainly not the cause of it!”— Michael Greene, Recording Academy President and CEO at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, February 2000.
- The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects that college-bound middle and junior high school students should take, stating "Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development." In addition, one year of Visual and Performing Arts is recommended for college-bound high school students. — Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education, 1997
- The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college. — Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York
- The arts create jobs, increase the local tax base, boost tourism, spur growth in related businesses (hotels, restaurants, printing, etc.) and improve the overall quality of life for our cities and towns. On a national level, nonprofit arts institutions and organizations generate an estimated $37 billion in economic activity and return $3.4 billion in federal income taxes to the U.S. Treasury each year. — American Arts Alliance Fact Sheet, October 1996
- The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. — Grant Venerable, "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior," as reported in "The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools," The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989