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Budget Cuts: Art and Music Education.

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Budget Cuts: Art and Music Education Art and music education play a huge role in the everyday lives of humanity. Whether it is religious or cultural, art and music are therapeutic in ways that people are able to express themselves by listening, singing, or writing music. Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Development at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has been conducting research on the relationship between music and spatial abilities in children for over a decade. Her data suggests music instruction can improve spatial abilities in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade children. She has provided oral and written testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate regarding the effects of music on early cognitive and brain development. She has publications in music cognition, child development, cognitive psychology, and social psychology, and has lectured on music and intelligence in North America, Europe and Australia. ...read more.


With these statistics, it is obvious that schools entered the 2003-2004 year with "$2.1 billion less than they would have in a 'normal' budget year." Understandably, electives were the first to be cut. Art and music classes are considered an elective-an optional course to take. In reality, isn't art and music education just as crucial to a child's development as Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Fitness? Students who are involved in art and music are more likely to score higher on standardized testing than those who are not. They also score higher in math and science. Dr. Frances Rauscher conducted a test to examine how music affects a child's intellectual intelligence, she states: When Dr. Shaw and I provided a group of preschoolers with eight months of weekly keyboard lessons, we found that these children displayed dramatic improvement in spatial-temporal reasoning, the very skills necessary for mastering math and science. ...read more.


The disparity between the groups' alcohol-related problems and social and emotional concerns were significant" (University of North Texas Study). Music major and non-music majors have similar levels of performance anxiety in common. Their anxiety is most likely caused by difficult courses they are taking, exams, and studying. The major things they don't have in common are alcohol-related problems and social and emotional problems. Furthermore, many of the art and music education classes are being cut due to school budgets. The only question that still remains is: If recent studies show that music and art have a positive effect on a person's intellect, then why are these programs still being cut? Well, budget cuts are inevitable, but art and music education should be the last things schools should cut. Schools need to weigh the difference in all their programs, whether it is academics or electives, and they need to fix their priorities so that all students have the opportunity to get involved with art and music. There also needs to be proportionate cuts within the schools, between all programs. ...read more.

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