If you are reading my blog then you probably have a favorable opinion of music education and strong feelings about the constant threat of its extinction. Countless articles have been written in support of music education but I believe something might be missing from the discussion.
A frequent defense is to draw positive correlation between music education, cognitive development, and academic achievement. For example, NAfME through its Broader Mind campaign articulates a vast array of impressive research.
Recently, this author took a completely different yet equally valid approach. Music is after all an intangible and universal part of the human experience.
While these arguments have merit I would like to introduce a new viewpoint inspired by "Myth Busters" star Adam Savage. Ultimately, public education exists to serve society in part through its contribution to the economy. For our economy to survive we have to be able to create new products that haven't even been fathomed yet. Meanwhile, schools must structure their curriculum around standardized testing or risk loosing their funding. And there is the dilemma, we educate our students to regurgitate despite the fact that we will need them to posses higher levels of thinking in their adult lives. That is where music education can save the day. It fosters higher orders of thinking and serves as a "glue" to bond together the student's educational and life experiences. Do we want our students to store facts in a bucket, isolated from one another? Or do wish desire from them to truly posses knowledge? Instead, the goal of education is to produce well-rounded and productive citizens and music education is an irreplaceable means to that end.