Abandoning the Arts

The arts and music are the first programs cut from US public school curricula amidst current vitriolic cultural and policy debates. With STEM focus, charter secondary schools often do not include arts and music. (I’m concerned schools would cut literature, too, if savvy teachers were not able to link it to literacy.) Anecdotal and alarmist rhetoric argues that the result is an apathetic, tech-centered generation, devoid of creativity. With art and music leaving formal schooling, the response seems to be that art and music will be produced out of a well of intrinsic passion and sustained through the same. Museums of all sort in the US are struggling with dropping attendance. The arts and letters in higher education are widely derided as worthless and are also facing cuts and dropping enrollments. What is the role of K-12 education, then, if anything, in exposing young people to, nurturing, and developing aesthetic sensibilities and skills? If we as a culture and society abandon K-12 arts and music education, as we are, what effects can we attribute to that decision (e.g., declining museum patronage)?

  • Utilitarianism at its worst. Why can't we have both??? – Munjeera 5 years ago
  • This is a really awesome and relevant topic. As someone in music therapy, I see how dangerous cutting back on the arts can be. Art and music is in our human nature. Music is one of the most complex things our brain engages in. It develops the mind faster and encourages discipline. Out of all the disciplines I have studies, music has not only given me a new skill, but has helped me become disciplined and dedicated. I think when music is taught poorly in schools it is just as bad as cutting it. – birdienumnum17 5 years ago

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