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Kontos Sees Music Hitting a High Note in Education

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Jan 21, 2016

Lydia Kontos, executive director of the Kaufman Music Center (New York, NY) and former Guild trustee, shared her thoughts on the importance of music education in an article for The Huffington Post. The article, entitled "Music Hits a High Note in EducationFinally!", applauds the inclusion of music instruction in ESSA's definition of a well-rounded education, and calls for further steps to integrate music into our schools.

"Reams of statistics show that American students aren't learning all the skills they need to succeed in today's workplace. For over a decade under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), schools have placed a laser-sharp focus on reading and math and often cut the arts from the curriculum as a result of budget pressures and stringent standardized testing guidelines," Kontos writes. "Despite this, the math skills of American students have dropped for the first time in a decade and their reading abilities have stalled, according to the 'nation's report card' released in October."

Kontos goes on to argue that "incorporating music into the curriculum can help close the massive achievement gap between students of all different socioeconomic backgrounds." Indeed, research suggests that the students hit hardest by cuts to arts education are those in economically disadvantaged districts. This, in turn, leads to a lack of exposure to the arts and a narrowing of future professional opportunities.

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