Many years ago before common core came onto the scene I made sure that the arts were included in my 5th grade class. We did art projects on Friday, sang on Wednesday, and had extra curricular activities such as musical plays, band, and a school wide chorus. I honestly believe the kids were happier, had higher self-esteem, and loved coming to school. Then when common core hit everything changed. We were told to always have the common core up on the board that we were currently teaching in case district personal did a walk through, which they did at least once a week or more. They never even gave us one standard that had anything to do with the arts or music. So guess what happened to the curriculum. You guessed. The regular teachers had to drop doing anything that had to do with the arts. What a shame!!! Even if we wanted to do things in the arts. We never had time any more because we had to get ready for the tests. Yet there are many studies out there that indicate how music increases many attributes and knowledge that kids need to succeed in school. Students who study music at home such as a musical instrument do better in math, especially fractions. Here is one study of the effect of piano education on the attention skills of 7-12 year old children. They found the piano students out performed other students in reading and in their attention span in general. Let’s never give up on the arts. We need to speak up and make sure they are never totally dropped. Try to picture our society with no cultural arts. What is left? Not much.
Huseynova, Elnara; Egilmez, Hatice Onuray; Engur, Doruk, “Effect of Piano Education on the Attention Skills of 7-12 Year Old Children”, Educational Research and Reviews, v 14 n10 p. 327-339, May 2019