Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

hold 359). With the pandemic finally nearing its end and technology's role in education still extremely prevalent, it is more important than ever before for us to engage with the creative side of our brain and get off our devices. Music programs offer many different opportunities for students such as playing an instrument, reading & writing music, producing, conduct- ing, singing, and even learning about music history and theory. All these branches of music will allow us to unplug while still doing some- thing productive and fun. Furthermore, depression rates are higher than in previous years in young adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic (Racine et al. 1) and research has shown that music alleviates stress and depression in young adolescents (Hen- dricks 39-40). If our music programs in schools had better funding, there would likely be more opportunities for us to actively participate in music classes and programs during the pan- demic, helping with the higher-than-normal daily stressors experienced and depression rates caused by isolation and drastic lifestyle changes.

them to navigate their own feelings and con- nect with others (Campbell 221). One aspect of music that is so special is that everyone connects to it in one way or another. Whether it’s through listening to songs on the radio, going to see live music, singing in a choir, playing an instrument, or writing songs–– human beings just love music. One study by Adrian North and colleagues confirmed that music fulfills social, emotional, and cognitive needs in young adults. They stated in their re- search article,“There can be little doubt about its place and value in the school curriculum at all age levels” (269). For me personally, music has always allowed me to shut out the noise of the world and be present. Studies have shown that music classes leave students with a positive outlet for coping with stress (Campbell 224-29). Fur- thermore, when students perform in concerts they are forced to step outside their comfort zone, leaving many students with various life skills that translate over to areas such as public speaking and communication. These opportunities are ones that we should not be missing out on just because of underfunded music programs!

My Passion Project

to everyone, regardless of what field you want to study in as an adult. Creative development, identity formation, and technology relief are essential to every person regardless of career path. The benefits of music can not be ignored or replaced, and we must act now before they are stripped from the educational curriculum as a whole. In the process of doing all of this research, I realized that both myself and many others need to be doing more to save these pro- grams. We can contact the Alumni office, we can advocate for the importance of music on social media platforms, and we can spread awareness about the lack of funding for these programs. Personally, I am going to start here on my very own campus by finding other stu - dents who feel the same way and we are go- ing to advocate for change. The time is now; what are you going to do?

I was fortunate enough to have an incredibly well-funded music program in high school. My teachers were so dedicated to and pas- sionate about their work and my school of- fered somany opportunities within the music department. We had classes in all subject ar- eas: composition, electronic music, digital DJ, instrumental & vocal instruction, as well as bands and orchestras. My experience in high school was so powerful that music became a serious passion of mine. When I graduated high school, I continued playing guitar, piano, and singing. I had such a strong passion for music that I knew I wanted it to be a central part of my life going forward. As a current undergraduate student, I decid- ed to look into my college’s music program as a potential music minor. To my surprise, the music program is incredibly underfunded and does not have much diversity within its courses. Every term only a handful of courses are offered, and each course is only offered in one out of the three trimesters during an academic year. I was really passionate about taking courses in singing, songwriting, and composition, however, there are no courses offered in either of these subject areas. This deficit has made me passionate about advo - cating for better music programs and turning to high school students to encourage you to select colleges and universities that have invested heavily in their music programs be- cause nurturing that side of your brain mat- ters tremendously. The skills you learn in music classes are irreplaceable and essential

Works Cited

Campbell, Patricia Shehan, Claire Connell, and Amy Beegle. "Adolescents' Expressed Meanings of Music in and Out of School." / Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. "Happiness and Creativity." / Drevdahl, John E. "Fac - tors of Importance for Creativity." / Hendricks, C. B., et al. "Using Music Techniques to Treat Adolescent Depression." J. / Kiehn, Mark T. “Development of Mu- sic Creativity among Elementary School Students.” / North, Adrian C., David J. Hargreaves, and Susan A. O'Neill. "The Importance of Music to Adolescents." / O'Neil, Julie, and Marisa Schenke. “An Examination of Factors Impacting Athlete Alumni Donations to Their Alma Mater: a Case Study of a U.S. University.” / Slaton, Emily Dawn. “Collegiate Connections: Mu - sic Education Budget Crisis.” / Wiederhold, Brenda K. “Children's Screen Time During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Boundaries and Etiquette.”

Do I Really Need Music for my Career?

If you oppose music in education, you might argue along the lines of, “If I want to be a law- yer or doctor when I grow up, how will music classes help me?” While you might not need to know how to play an instrument or read sheet music to win a court case or help a sick patient, the long-lasting effects that music has on stu - dents are ones that everyone will benefit from. Creative development and identity formation are not career-specific and all people can ben - efit from the growth and development that music provides.

Music As Technology Relief

If you lived during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are familiar with the detrimental effects it has taken on everyone's mental health. Isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and fear; these emotions have been a part of everyone’s lives since the beginning of 2020. With in-person gatherings and classes prohibited nationwide, screen time averages for young students have nearly doubled in 2020, skyrocketing from 3+ hours of usage daily to 6+ hours (Wieder-


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker