In the last month, we've heard a great deal about the research on the beneficial effects of instrumental music instruction on elementary schoolchildren. Everything from hand-eye coordination to critical thinking to standardized test scores are reportedly enhanced. That makes a strong case for reinstating a program that was eliminated two years ago. But if it's going to be successful this time around, two things need to be dealt with, including:
- the scheduling issue. Before the program was eliminated, principals and some teachers complained it was tough to keep a class on track if some members were continually pulled out for practice and instruction during school hours.
With the state preparing to throw yet another layer of tests on top of what's already required, every moment of teaching time is precious. Yes, music students do tend to be top academic achievers, but we wonder what effect it has on a class to remove its best students from class discussions and other activities.