The presence of music programs in schools is a widely debated topic as a result of the fact that music programs may consume an abundance of time and money. Many argue that a music program improves the quality of a school's academic performance, but opponents of music programs argue that these programs detract from the educational process. Whether you are in support of music programs or not, it is important to be aware of the negative consequences of music in schools in order to understand what, if any, problems a music program may pose for a school.
Many music programs pose huge budget concerns for schools. Music programs not only cost a lot of money because of the required instruments, playing space and various concerts, but they also require schools to hire extra music faculty and instructors. These costs quickly add up, which is why cutting school music programs is often one of the first solutions to school budget cuts. In addition to costing schools a lot of money, music programs may cost students' parents a great deal of money, because they must buy their students instruments, other supplies or lessons.
Detract From Academics
Some argue that music programs in schools can detract from academics and hinder students' learning in more important areas. They claim that students will spend too much time on practicing, trips and performances, which will affect their ability to do their homework and study. Whereas some claim that music actually helps students academically by improving math and reading skills, others argue that students can get this benefit from music outside of school. While in school, they argue, students ought to be in a classroom.
Promotion of Competition
Music programs in school can promote competition and rivalry among peers. In most music programs, students compete for certain positions and chairs, and they must practice and oust their peers in order to climb the ranks in the section. This can lead to bad feelings and competitive values among young children, which can be harmful to their future development. Some critics of this argument reply that competition finds a place in almost all realms of education and schooling.
Another argument against having music programs in schools claims that having students with expensive instruments in schools can present an opportunity to get things stolen. Instruments may cost thousands of dollars, and supplies and other items may also be very expensive. Typically, students must bring these items back and forth to and from school, where they usually store instruments in a community room or locker. This presents the opportunity to have their instruments and materials damaged or stolen.
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