It is common nowadays to hear that music is being cut from curriculums. This is not always because the schools believe that music isn’t important. Often, they believe that subjects like english, math, science and history should be primary focuses. Many argue that, although these are crucial subjects for students to learn, it is equally important to expand the students’ minds to creative elements such as music and the arts.
Instead of just letting this slip by though, there are a few steps we could take to improve the music education in our schools.
- Support Music Teachers
When teachers are hired into a school, they are usually employed for some time, teaching the same subject in the same classroom. Music teachers aren’t always so tenured when it comes to their position. It takes time to assemble a music classroom, to figure out what works, and teach the proper information. When it comes to switching teachers for music, try to look at what existing teachers have accomplished. It may not be worth it to hire a new teacher if existing teachers have made significant progress.
- Put in the Effort
Teachers that teach core classes will teach the same students every day. Conversely, music teachers often only get the students two or three times a week. When it comes to choir concerts, assemblies or band concerts, they need more time to prepare the children. It may be that more consistent music education is the key to building bonds and ensuring a level of interest in the arts. However, this may not apply to every music class; smaller ensembles, for instance, are likely not every day endeavors.
- Offer Music Beyond the Classroom
Though this tactic is already in practice, it can benefit from more of a push. Music clubs after school, stage musicals, or marching band membership should be encouraged throughout the school. Even if the kids aren’t getting a lot of exposure in the classroom to music, they have the option to study the arts in a capacity that allows them to make friends and grow.
- Test Productivity Correctly
The standard metrics for the efficacy of teachers are tests throughout the year. However, when it comes to music, lengthy, written exams aren’t always the best option. In these classes, students learn a new skill that involves active participation and different skills. Test the students more accurately by recording them or by even grading the concerts that they perform.
- Have a Music Budget
Unfortunately, many music teachers end up being stuck paying for classroom expenses out of pocket. This is a major problem, especially considering how expensive instruments can be. While all teachers are using money of their own, core teachers get a budget from the school district while music teachers really don’t get that opportunity—at least not nearly as often as their STEM-based counterparts. They need a budget to be able to buy the instruments, the music, and other supplies that contribute to an engaging classroom.