Executive Director of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation –
It is only recently, in the last 8 years, that I have been involved first hand in music education. It has been an education for me, learning what the issues are and getting to know the people involved in this world, and what I have learned is both disturbing and inspiring. In our world, not everyone can or should share the same priorities, even regarding education. But in this same world, everyone shares music, to some degree, and can appreciate its importance both in society and in a very personal way.
Since music provides the accompaniment to life, we all must recognize its place in education as a means to explore, create, understand and express our experiences and feelings, and how we can all relate to each other. Music has value in education in equal measure to language arts, history, science and reading, as they all help us to achieve our potential and make sense of the world. We can talk about higher test scores and less absenteeism, less drug use and fewer behavioral problems as a benefit of having music education, but what really matters is that it develops us as human beings, gives people hope and expression and is there when you need it.
Education is about life, and music education makes life better.