Should The Performing Arts Receive Equal Treatment

With Sports? Essay, Research Paper Should the performing arts receive equal as sports? The performing arts have been proven to increase a child?s mind. Yet sports keep the mind and body strong. This is a debate that has being going on for the past 20 years. On whether funding should be used to fund sports or the performing arts.

With Sports? Essay, Research Paper

Should the performing arts receive equal as sports?

The performing arts have been proven to increase a child?s mind. Yet sports keep the mind and body strong. This is a debate that has being going on for the past 20 years. On whether funding should be used to fund sports or the performing arts. People argue for both sides. Today I am arguing for the performing arts.

Music education being the right of all children it must be taught in appropriate ways suggested by the geographical cultural and social environment (3). And yes, that is true. Every child should have the write to experience. Every person, in every culture is introduced to some form of music. Whether a person lives in Asia, Africa, Italy, or the USA. That person is introduced to the kind of music in that culture. But scientists have said time after time that ?Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neutrons and build new spatial reasoning, says psychologist, Frances Rauscher of University of California-Irving.

The thought of teaching music in schools did not even begin until the late 1970?s. According to Bill Ivey who is the Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts ? By the late 1970?s, we began to realize that along with scientific knowledge and physical fitness, we needed to feed the imagination of students with arts (Ivey, 56).? Which says something about the United States. This country is always saying how everything is done for the future of this country, the children. Then, how come the idea of teaching music wasn?t thought of till then?

But at least the USA decided to mandate that the arts be taught in schools from elementary to high school. ?Not just in elementary schools or in high schools as electives, but as a comprehensive, sequential curriculum taught by qualified teachers, beginning with pre-school instruction and continuing with required courses for high school graduation (Ivey, 55).? Later, into the 1980?s the United States slowly began to evaluate what music did to the mind. How the mind was scoped by music, what music did to the brain and etc? The Music Education Association says, ? They feel that the arts will play a major roll in the future success of the educational system (6). ?

?By the late 1980?s, Congress mandated that the National Endowment of the Arts to report on the status of arts education (Ivey, 56). And it was proven that children who study the arts score higher on test, do better in school, and even scored higher on the College Boards SAT?s. ?Our case for the critical importance of the arts is also bolstered by the College Boards report that students who study the arts in general, and music in particular, score considerably higher on both the verbal and math sections of the SAT (Ivey, 55). ? Music has also been shown to do better with high school students, ?It has been shown that high school music students have higher grade point averages than non-music students in the same school (6). ? Music students are out performing non-music students on the SAT?s. College bound seniors with coursework or experience in music performance scored 52 percent higher on the verbal portion and 37 points higher on the math portion.

Other groups have also studied the effects of music and the arts on the brain and on people. J.W. Flohr and D.C. Miller used an electroencephalogram to investigate subtle changes in brain electrical activity (Teaching Music, 41). The study showed that the activity in the temporal regions of the brain were higher then an average child. Proving that music does do something to the brain. Many other groups have done research or have seen what music does to a child or to people. Bob Schaffer of Colorado who is a member of the House of Representative says, ? recent scientific studies confirm what teachers of old have always known- music and the other arts stimulate higher brain function (11). ?

According to the Music Education Association and Rauscher who is a Psychologist at UC- Irving, music does improve the mind. Rauscher says ? Music instruction can improve a child?s spatial intelligence for long periods of time- perhaps permanently (6) ? when he told The American Psychologist Association. Dr. Wilson who is another researcher feels these findings are so significant that it will lead to a universal understanding in the next century that music is an absolute necessity for the total development of the brain and individual (6).

Music has multiple learning benefits, and recent studies establish a casual relationship between music and enhanced learning ability (6). Music has also been shown to have benefits later in life. ?Successful music students develop the skills necessary for a variety of occupations. Successful music students tend to posses the qualities and skills that are generally considered essential to employers in business education, and service organizations (6). ? ?The Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities has found a connection between students having music competence and high motivations in that they were more likely to achieve success in school (6). ? The Music Education Association also says ? It has also been found that through involvement, in group music activities on the high school level, individual learn to support each other, maintain commitment and bond together for group goals (6). ? The last thing the Music Education Association says about how music improves the mind is that ? Music Education Association feels and has observed that student involvement in school music has a positive impact on other areas of their lives (6). ? David Rosenboom who is the dean at Calarts school of music says that ? creative musicians are always pioneers on a sonic arts frontier, whether listening, performing, composing, researching, studying, producing, presenting, improvising, analyzing, theorizing or writing about music (4). ?

Music even establishes a part of college. Colleges look for people who participate in the arts because it takes a lot of effort, time, and dedication. Fred Hargadon, who is an ex-dean of Stanford, said, ? We look for students who have taken part in orchestra, symphonic band, chorus and drama. It shows a level of energy and an ability to organize time that we are looking for here (6). ?

Music lessons have also been shown to improve the mind. Several quotes from Music Education Online and The Music Education Association show that music lessons increase the mind. Such as this quote from the Music Education Association, ? Music studies increase in reading skills and math proficiency dramatically (6).? Music lessons contribute to the development of the brain and spatial intelligence (6).? Even Dr. Frank Wilson from the University of California School of Medicine says ? that his studies show that instrumental practice enhances coordination?s, concentration and memory and also brings about the improvement of eyesight and hearing (6). ?

There are even researchers that say that students who don?t have access to an art?s program is damaging their minds. Dr. Jean Houston of the Foundation for Mind Research says ? that children without access to an arts program are actually damaging their brain. They are not being exposed to non-verbal modalities, which help them earn skills like reading, writing and math much more easily (6). ?

A survey done on band parents show that music is even important in the family. The survey found that 96% of them agree that ?many people don?t know or understand the benefits of band (6). ? When the survey continued, non-band parents and band parents were survived on the educational benefits of band. 35% of the non-band parents surveyed felt that band provides educational benefits not found in other classrooms and that 78% of the same group felt that band is more educational then extra-curricular activities.

Music is not just an art, it is also a subject. Music has the involvement of every subject taught in school. From science to math to even history. For example, Music is history. Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation often even the country and/or racial feelings (9). Music is also math. It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions, which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper (9). But at the end the most important thing is that music is an art. It allows a human being to take all these dry technically, boring, (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That?s one thing science can not duplicate; humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will (9). Bob Schaffer of Colorado is a member of the House of Representatives says, ? music lovers like myself have long promoted music education as away to inspire creativity, develop discipline and cultivate an appreciation for the arts (11).?

Many researchers, college professors, deans of colleges and people have said that music is a wonderful thing and that improves the mind. If you do not agree with what all these researches have said then that?s ok. But sports have not been proven to do any of this.


1. Ivey, Bill ?The Arts are Basic.? Teaching Music June 1999: 55-56

2. ?Recent Brain Research on Young Children? Teaching Music June 1999: 41-54