Make School Music Programs a National Policy Priority

Target: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

Goal: Make school music programs a national policy priority in order to provide music education and its benefits to every American schoolchild.

Music education is primarily funded by state, local, and private sources; however, due to upcoming budget cuts, the Department of Education faces a loss of $4.1 billion in January 2013. Due to federal cuts, local funds will have to be reallocated at the cost of music education. Please sign this petition and urge the US Secretary of Education to make school music programs a national policy priority in order to preserve music education and the range of educational and developmental benefits music has to offer.

Last summer’s debt ceiling deal required Congress to trim $1.2 trillion from the national debt by Thanksgiving. If they were unable to complete the task, automatic across-the-board spending cuts were to be initiated starting January, 2013. Not only was Congress unable to decide on a plan, but they still have not been able to amicably find a resolution for the situation. Now months away from massive budget cuts in the middle of a school year, music education may become a thing of the past.

Unfortunately music education is not always given the credit it deserves. Despite wide reaching educational, developmental, and behavioral benefits, music is seen as secondary to traditional learning. According to Nature Neuroscience magazine, “Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the community.” Study after study illustrates how music education can increase math and English scores, memory tests, reading ability, cognitive skills, team building and more across culture, race, socioeconomic status, and geography.

Please sign this petition and urge Secretary Duncan to protect school music programs by making them a national policy priority. It is important for leaders in education to stand up for alternative forms of learning and decrease the emphasis on standardized testing.


Dear Secretary Duncan,

As the nation faces across-the-board spending cuts as a result of last summer’s failed debt ceiling deal, the Department of Education is expecting a $4.1 billion loss. As federal funding is cut, local, state and private funding will be reallocated to cover costs. Reallocation of funds will strain argely locally funded programs like music education. Despite the educational, developmental, and behavioral benefits of music education, these programs will probably be cut without federal protection.

In order to make music education a national policy priority, federal funds need to be allocated to support this viable resource for our children and our future. The emphasis on standardized testing has left non-traditional yet evidenced based cross-cultural methods of learning in the dust. Study after study has found that children who receive any level of music education perform better on standardized testing, score higher in mathematics and English, memory tests, reading ability, cognitive skills, team building, and more.

Please make school music programs a national policy priority and protect the wide range of benefits stemming from music education.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: elodes via flickr

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One Comment

  1. It is funny how even though music has been proven to improve learning and even cognitive awareness, it still falls far short in the areas of funding.

    I wish you the best in your lobbying.

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