A musical education can be beneficial for anyone and everyone, and is most beneficial when taught as a child, as the connections you can make through music can improve a multitude areas in one’s life. However, a musical education in America have been put on the back burners, and has even been completely eliminated in some areas around the United States. James Catterall, a professor at UCLA wrote to PBS.ORG (2013) stating, “The story has played out with some regularity for decades — economies boom and bust, school budgets get squeezed and music and the other arts take the first hits. The global economic downturn of the past two years has taken an especially hard toll on arts programs” (Para 1) With a number of independent studies showing a relationship between a Childs musical education and an improved math, science, and spatial reasoning score, can we really afford to cut music from the students?
My campaign seeks to address this issue with the educational system here in America, to make the benefits of a musical education to light, and to bring music back to the educational curriculum. However, not only do I want to make the amendment to the educational curriculum, I also want to assist in gathering needed donation of money or instruments to help improve the musical infrastructure for our local schools here in Michigan.
Initially, in this campaign we will need to obtain the support of the local parents, musicians, and teachers who understand the importance of a musical education. With the support of the aforementioned individuals, we would be able to organize and execute a series of events geared at receiving donations of musical instruments, and raising awareness as to the importance of a musical education. The instruments will be used to bolster the already present musical programs here in our local area.
Appealing to the parents, Teachers and Musicians who already know of the troubles that the arts are having in our local area can help create more of a motivational appeal to engage and stimulate the individuals to act. With the looming issues that still plague the Detroit public schools, some of the first programs that students and teachers seen cut were the musical and artistic programs. Music in Detroit created what everyone now knows as the Nickname to Motown. At the time the programs were being cut, George Shirley of NewMusicBox.org (2010) stated, “A curriculum that produced some of the most notable names in every genre of the music profession will summarily disappear from the education of those who need it most” (para 4) Centering around a community that has experienced a recent cut in the music programs and the fall of an education curriculum will be more likely to engage in a program that seeks to improve it.
When appealing to the parents and staff of the local schools, I would follow a persuasive design that more tailors to the elaboration likelihood model. The message that this campaign has for its audience is one that can reach out to audiences centrally and peripherally. As stated by Timothy Borchers, author of Persuasion in the Media Age stated, “The route an individual used to elaborate on a message is determined by two factors: motivation and ability. Motivation refers to such factors as personal relevance, need for understanding, and personal responsibility” (page 52) With education being a part of everyone’s life, this is a message that I see can be distributed effectively among everyone should they see the correct message.
The students, parents, teachers, and musician who have seen the downfall of musical educations will be more inclined to follow the central route processing as they experienced it firsthand, and are more emotionally invested into the issue already. Peripherally, we could attempt to reach out to the local populous through stressing needs of donated instruments, and campaigns to collect donated instruments. Using the support we gather from the local school and people to improve the schools musical education backbone, we can then move forward with a petition to the government for a permanent change to the curriculum.
A reason an approach like this would work is due to the environment that our community presents. Michigan, as well as many other states have seen the decline of the arts and musical programs in their schools recently as a means to save money or cut back. Appealing to the parents, students, and teachers who have already been affected by this issue, and with some background knowledge of the problem could mean more of an emotional connection to my campaign. Those not directly motivated to my campaign, could be persuaded peripherally to donate musical instruments, which could, in time, lead to them investigating why the donations were needed, and cause them to make more of a permanent change in direction in regards to the campaign.
There are some challenges however to seeing a goal like this realized. The cost of obtaining instruments, even through donations is expensive, and is a major role at play in the size of musical programs at local schools. Gathering the required volunteers at the correct locations in order to collect and organize donated instruments would be a bit of a challenge as well, but not completely impossible. Obtaining staff and teachers who would be able to instruct and educate students in music would also be a challenge and an expensive purchase. The donations would be used initially to bolster the already present music programs so that they can continue to reach more students. Obtaining additional teachers and staff would be something that would have to come post obtaining an educational amendment for music in the curriculum. That way, additional funds could be allocated to the program.
While there are challenges in campaign that seeks to change the educational requirements for all of the students in America, I believe that we would be able to ultimately achieve a federal amendment to the educational requirements for the united states of America. Alexis Kalivretenos from the Humanist.org, and author of the article The Importance of a music Education writes, “This activity is something that everyone is aware of, but not everyone has a chance to participate in. This activity is music” (Para 2) Everyone knows of music, listens to music, and enjoys music, but not everyone is given the opportunity to learn music. That is what the core focus of this campaign really is, and giving the gift of music to all students should be a necessity in today’s educational curriculum, not a class to cut when funds are low.
Borchers, T (2013) Persuasion in the Media Age – Third Edition Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press Inc.
Catterall, J (27th March 2014) The consequences of Curtailing Music Education retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/dudamel-conducting-a-life/the-consequences-of- curtailing-music-education/
Kalivretenos, A. (18th March 2015) The importance of Music Education Retrieved from http://thehumanist.com/features/articles/the-importance-of-music-education
Shirley, G (9th June 2010) Music in Detroit’s Public Schools: The struggle to Survive Retrieved from http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/music-education-in-detroits-public-schools-the-struggle-to-survive/