Keep the arts

With the poor economy, school budgets are being reduced; some programs might be cut. Two of the first things that come to mind for many are the music and art programs.

Music is the last thing that should be getting cut from schools. I know this from personal experience. Music is my life and I’ve been a disciplined musician since I was 6. My discipline from music has helped me in school and, as a result, I am an honor student.

I am surrounded by music every day, but most kids aren’t that lucky. Music needs to stay in school so students don’t miss out on opportunities that could change their lives.

According to articles I have read by Peggy Epstein and Stephanie Hicks, music has been proven to improve brain development in children, helping them learn to read, perform, work together, learn fractions and boost self-confidence. The arts also give kids a chance to express themselves in a way that no other subject can.

Though we may not study science or history our whole life, music will always be with us.

Further proof that the arts are worth keeping in schools can be found by looking at the school district in Farmington. Schools there have a strong music program with 106 band members and almost all of them are honor students. If they can do it, other schools can, too.

There must be better ways to save money than to cut music and art.

Trevor Laliberte, student, Auburn Middle School

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Trevor, I congratulate you on

Trevor, I congratulate you on your participation in this very public forum. It takes a great deal of self-confidence to jump into a venue where most of us adults behave like adolescents. But be aware that you may have to give up some of the protection usually given to the young by accepting some criticism.

School budgets are being reduced. Why? Because expenses increase every year and politicians are reluctant to increase taxes accordingly. Their reluctance comes from the assumption that we voters will kick them out of office - they may even be right. Why do expenses increase every year? Perhaps you could ask that question of your teachers. If they feel as passionately about their subjects as you feel about music, shouldn't they be willing to give up some of the increases mandated in their union contracts to hold down the expenses? The results of your poll, I assure you, will interest all of us.

You can't study music without also studying history and science, especially mathematics. If you try, you won't know who came before you or how they accomplished what they did. From what I have seen in your letter and your comments, your passion for music cannot be that superficial.

I live and pay taxes in the Farmington school district. It has an excellent music program because the public side is supported by a very strong private side. You can't have one without the other, and the private is hit by a bad economy every bit as much, if not more, than the public.

The better ways you want have eluded all of us for a long time. It's my hope they you will help find them for us, after completing your education in all subjects. They are all important. Wait until college to declare a major.


Well done!

Nice work, Trevor! You have stated your topic well and your support, including researching facts about the benefits of music in education, is clear and convincing. Keep up the good work!

Jim Cyr's picture

Hi Trevor

My comment about the basics was not directed at a particular student. Whether you are an honor student or not is not as relevant as the comment of the "arts being the last" to be scratched from a middle school curriculum. I was only insinuating the higher importance of the 3R's. If you are bored with being an honor student, finding an outlet such as "the Arts" is admirable. And wish you the best. And if you are still bored after your music lessons, maybe you could tutor one or some of your class mates that may be falling through the cracks! With the "school administration"being some what heavier then the true monies being diverted from the kids, I don't like the idea of school administrations cutting programs for the sacrifice of the kids potential learning abilities. Cutting teachers and programs before actually reviewing the administration's own finances is just wrong!

Jim Cyr's picture

Keep the Arts?

Trevor, it's good that you have found your niche(music)! But you must also keep in mind that the # R's are the MOST important things that the schools must teach. And for any one to think that music should be the LAST thing to get the cut is missing the point of basic schooling!


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