The Future Of American Culture
In the day of a low economy, school boards are trying to keep education alive by killing multiple programs. The first to go? Arts and music. With the need of budget cuts, schools push aside creative arts to make room for academic classes and physical exercise. Arts and music need to be kept in all public schools. Arts and music boost the economy, however districts don’t want to see that far into the future. We lose culture the second we cut off America’s future from arts and music.
It has been proven by multiple tests, arts can stimulate the brain and the economy. Student’s brains are more open to learning when they are opened to music. Then as they continue into college and careers, if they choose to go forth in arts and music they can help the economy. Eighty-three percent of jobs in arts and music earn more than 150,000 dollars for their yearly income, which is 100,000 dollars more than average. With few creative jobs being offered and widespread, not enough Americans are thinking of creative jobs as a legitimate career path. Even though creative jobs are “1/12 of all American jobs” (Applefeld). Creative industry jobs offer lots of wealth but don’t seem to be an attainable career path, however, creative jobs can be more available than most people may think. “The nonprofit art industry was tagged at 36.8 billion dollars eight years ago and the number only increases” (Applefeld). With immense economical challenges in not only schools, the floundering economy has been looked at as the “new normal” (Shorner-Johnson). As we continue without music we just create bigger holes that can be easily fixed if we start right now. Starting a requirement for arts and music in school now, will provide a huge boost in the economy down the road. More than half the adults that were given some type of music education say “music equipped them to be team players and have better problem-solving skills” (Applefeld). Both qualities are very useful in any type of career. In conclusion, arts and music can have great impact in the American society, if children are opened to it now.
Many critical steps have been made throughout the years to boost the appeal of music and art education however, few are impactful. “Most school board directors are looking for a minimal requirement of music education at a middle school level” (Applefeld). “In the late 1800’s Boston public schools were also facing the decision to cut music or to create a new educational advocacy to allow music to be adopted” (Shorner-Johnson). The program was adopted and helped immensely. If we consider to revisit the same advocacy used, music programs can be saved. With the immense budget cuts, schools are facing the decision to keep art and music or to have a larger budget. Most parents who want a music education for their children have to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on private lessons. The arts also don’t come cheap with such activities like dancing, theatre plays, photography, and painting, just to name a few. The sheer fact that hard-working parents need to go to such lengths to give their children a sense of culture is absurd. Most families simply can’t afford the ridiculous prices and depend on public schools to provide any sort of cultural experience. With schools being forced to relinquish the arts and music and not enough programs outside of the school building, children are not exposed to the importance of arts and music. Schools would rather focus on science, math, english, history, technology, and language. They have high schoolers take basic courses first and if they still have enough time, can try arts and music. Pushing growing children toward fundamental topics will result in little job stability and unemployment because of the number of people going into the same careers. In conclusion, school boards need to take a good look at what they are pushing kids into and what they are leaving them out of.
Finally, arts and music being cut first in a down economy will only hurt it more. If we take a real look at what we need to do to help down the line, we may still have a chance. Politicians and school boards only look at what they need to do by year. Actors, singers, artists and so many other careers are all in the creative industry and all help any economy. Most teachers would like to keep art programs alive, but can’t do it for free at this low point in the United States’s economy. Students need to be opened to all options even if there aren’t enough resources. We need to make the resources available by any means necessary.