There’s been a lot of discussion lately about dumping art, music and PE from public school curricula.
Proponents argue that these subjects aren’t necessary to prepare a child for a successful working life, and we need to concentrate on the practical basics like reading, writing and arithmetic. Opponents claim these subjects are necessary in order for that child to be healthy and “well-rounded.” Both groups seem to be missing a much larger point.
When our clock radio wakes us up with music in the morning, did we ever consider
where does that music we enjoy come from? People who were exposed to it and encouraged to pursue their interest in it in band, orchestra or chorus in their public schools when they were kids, who played and sang for years in to make their way in a musical career.
Telling our kids to stay in their desks and memorize the multiplication tables might produce workers who can master rote tasks on ever-dwindling production lines, but if no product is being sold, there will be no work for them.
If our state and our nation are to compete in our own markets as well as world markets, our offerings must be of superior quality and design, produced by people who find fulfillment in their jobs. Our culture can and should be a big component of an international marketing effort.
We’re much less likely to be successful in our efforts without basic strengths in art, music and physical health.