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Chris Imes
Ms. DeBock
English IV
February 3rd, 2015
Artistic Importance
As of recent in schools all over the nation, music programs have been a primary target for
budget cuts due to the belief that the arts are “extracurricular” and are not important for students
to learn. Now so more than ever, music educators have been having to fight constantly to keep
music programs in school systems and to earn the budgeting that these programs rightfully
deserve. Despite the beliefs of many in the nation, music education is equally as important to all
the core subjects that all schools require students to learn for a numerous amount of reasons.
Three of the biggest reasons as to why music programs in schools should be funded more
appropriately and be considered core subjects in all schools is due to the facts that students
involved in music programs have been shown to have higher grades, help further develop the
brain, and have a civil right to learn and study the arts.
Firstly, music programs should be funded more appropriately and be considered as a core
subject students involved in music programs tend to have higher test grades and GPAs. This has
been tested and proven multiple times in a numerous amount of studies. In a study conducted on
this issue recently, students in the highest percentage quartile on a Math test and an English test
have were shown to be significantly overrepresented by music students (Elpus 1). Music students
were also shown to be highly overrepresented in students who have a GPA between a 3.01 and a
4.00, further proving that Music helps students perform better in school (Elpus 1). On the other
side, it has also been shown that music students are significantly underrepresented in students
who had low test grades and GPS’s (Elpus 1).

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Secondly, music helps further develop the brain in human beings. There have been
multiple studies on the subject proving this statement as well. A study on a group of children who
received instrumental training over the course of 15 months compared with a group of students
who did not receive instrumental training showed big structural differences in the motor and
auditory brain areas (Hyde 185). There were also some unexpected changes in the brain from this
study that showed changes in various frontal areas, a left middle occipital region, and the left
posterior peri-cingulate (Hyde 185). As these changes only occurred in the students that were
instrumentally trained for 15 months, there is plain evidence that music education improves
certain areas in the brain structurally and not just listening to music can provide these
improvements.
Lastly, students have a civil right to learn the arts. For the longest of times, the arts have
been considered to be an elective class and thus labeled as being unnecessary which part of the
reason music is a primary target for budget cuts. The issue with this is that by the definition of
core which is, “a small group of indispensable persons or things,” the arts are core subjects but
yet are being treated as elective courses (Shuler 1). One common phrase that have been stated by
numerous big names such as Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and other big names in
our government says that education has been the civil rights issue of our time (Shuler 1).
Considering that the arts are core by definition and that students all over the country are
unavailable to study music education and numerous other arts classes, then student’s civil rights
are being violated which is inexcusable and should not be happening.
Music programs in schools should be funded more appropriately and be considered core
subjects in all schools due to the facts that students involved in music programs have been shown
to have higher grades, help further develop the brain, and have a civil right to learn and study the

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arts. For the longest time, music educators over the nation have been having to fight to keep the
arts from being unfairly struck down by budget cuts and to keep these programs alive for
students. It is often said that education is one of the most important parts of a person’s life and
that students should focus and work hard in school to be successful in life. If this is a true belief
among the people, then it should not even be a question rather or not to support the arts and keep
these programs funded for students across the nation.

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Works Cited
Elpus, Kenneth Abril, Carlos R. "High School Music Ensemble Students In The United States: A
Demographic Profile." Journal Of Research In Music Education 59.2 (2011): 128145. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.
Hyde, Krista L., et al. "The Effects Of Musical Training On Structural Brain Development."
Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences 1169.(2009): 182-186. Academic Search
Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.
Shuler, Scott C. "Music Education For Life: Core Music Education: Students’ Civil Right."
Music Educators Journal 98.4 (2012): 7. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.