As schools receive budget cuts, one of the first programs to go is the music arts department. It seems unnecessary to the school board most of the time. Usually the department is already underfunded and doesn't always have an overwhelming amount of participants anyway, so I guess financially it does make sense. But it does not make sense to deprive the students of this opportunity to be involved musically.
Students who are involved in music tend to have a larger vocabulary and higher reading scores than their peers who are not involved. These same students also have higher grade point averages as well. They are the least likely to turn to tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs than any other group in society. The final benefit that should really convince schools not to cut their music department is that students who are under-achievers and don't try as hard as other will begin to try and will catch up with their peers who are ahead of them.
While these were all scholastically based, there are other aspects to being involved in music. I have personally been in band for eight years. Over these past years, I have made a ridiculous amount of friends I wouldn't have had if I had not participated.
You spend a week a year with the whole band at a camp usually in the middle of nowhere. You learn how to play the music almost perfectly within a week. You also learn how to move and play a show on the field. You laugh, cry, and argue a lot with each other, but it was really one of the best parts of my summer. You see your director more as a friend than as a teacher. It eventually comes to an end, but your senior year at band camp is the best because you get to prank all of the underclassmen.
Music is so much more than sitting down and playing an instrument. It is making social connection. In fact, band can be seen as a team. When you play as a group you have to listen and rely on certain instruments to play at a certain part in the song. Or when you're marching on the field, you rely on others to know when they should move so it makes the picture, also so you don't run into each other.
To reiterate, schools should not cut their music programs because it will deprive students of their fullest potential. Not only does it give those who are not athletically inclined a chance to participate in a group activity, it also gives those who are a little bit on the quirkier side a chance to fit in. Students grow socially, academically, and the most obvious, musically when they are placed in music program. It does not have to be band. It could be anything from choir to activities not organized by the school, such as a youth orchestra. Music is good for the mind and soul, let's not take this away from our children.
Support your local music department by attending concerts, fundraisers, or even donating. Everything and anything is appreciated.