Representing over 10,000 music educator members and the 4.7 million schoolchildren of Texas, TMEA communicates throughout the year with state leaders to highlight how music education is essential in providing a complete education for every student. While a myriad of arguments exist for why music education is essential in the well-rounded education for all students, TMEA focuses on the following arguments in its advocacy efforts and offers several print- and video-ready materials in support of these arguments on the Advocacy Materials for Distribution page.
Music Education is Essential:
For Its Intrinsic Value: The study of music is rewarding in and of itself. Music study offers students an opportunity to experience the pleasure of self-expression. Making music in an ensemble with their peers also provides students a unique experience of creating something as a group that isn't possible individually. Through music study, students develop appreciation skills that will support them as lifelong patrons of the arts—an essential element to the continuity of music in our communities and schools.
For Success in All Academics: Many studies exist supporting the correlation between the study of music and higher achievement in other academic areas. In 2008, a more definitive study by the Dana Arts & Cognition Consortium provided more concrete evidence connecting the study of music to improved cognition. While its intrinsic value is a fundamental reason for studying music, the fact that music study positively affects academic performance in other subjects should elevate its importance in the curriculum. At a time when academic performance is being scrutinized, our state's leaders and school administrators should be mindful of this powerful connection.
For Successful Entry into the 21st Century Workforce: Leaders in business and technology now assert that creativity and innovation are fundamental characteristics for individuals entering the workforce. In a world where routine tasks can be automated and outsourced, it is the mind that has been focused on creative innovation that will succeed. While music study supports the analytical academic skills essential for entering this highly-technical workforce, it also helps students develop what are now the vital skills for realizing a competitive edge in today's workforce: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, collaboration, leadership, and critical thinking. These skills are necessary in preparing students for the reality of their future.
For Retention in School, Discipline, and Positive Relationships: In line with supporting academic success and preparing students for their future, school music study has proven to improve several areas important to a student's overall success and satisfaction in their educational experience. Studies show a correlation between enrollment in music courses and higher attendance rates, lower drop out rates, and fewer discipline issues. With an emphasis on ensemble performance, school music study requires students to develop effective communication and cooperation skills. Music ensembles also provide students the opportunity to foster positive relationships. For many students, the music ensemble offers the only setting where they experience the benefits of positive relationships with others. In music class, students enter a positive environment requiring their discipline, commitment, and passion. In return, they receive the unique reward that only music can offer.
Engaging the News Media
An important part of successfully advocating for music education is communicating the message consistently through local media. Review the news media toolkit for guidance on how to best prepare and submit information to media outlets. News Media Toolkit