Spare Some Change?

The Miami Herald gave up some space for recently-retired high school counselor Robin Sarantos, PhD, to make a plea for more music education in our schools. Sounds great. I’m all for it.

So let’s rip it up!


But first, let’s start with the ending, also known as the “thesis,” in some rhetorical circles.

Music Education is one business that must be on top of the investment podium.

Great! Now, sell it.

Music -- it lifts the soul.

By “soul,” I hope you mean, “It increases the levels of dopamine produced by the adrenal medula—first signaled by the pituitary—which rewards pleasurable activities.” Just saying.

It allows the mind and body to express their deepest yearnings.

...like acrylic bronzing on a bodybuilder.

Figure 1. Yearning expressed, rewarded

Even the youngest can feel this.

100% right! They do have brains...

...with basic skill sets and learning capabilities.

Contemporary, classical, rock music -- all types stimulate the mind.

Uh-oh. See, a perception is a reaction to some kind of stimulation, in this case aural stimulation, or air pressure. Thus, EVERY kind of music is a kind of stimulation. I just don’t think Robin is saying what she thinks she’s saying.

Music allows for imagination...

Stimulates the imagination.

...and helps children to focus.

Kind of. I would say, rather, “music is something on which to focus.”

Whatever. All I’m saying is that to convince your local superintendent to give your music program more money probably requires a little less romanticizing and a little more concrete evidence.

Music then is an important part of education.

And, like I said before: I agree. But...

Indeed, sharing music can become one of those delightful parent or grandparent experiences.


And it doesn't cost a thing.

You’re not helping your cause. Remember: You’re trying to get more money.

Remember: Kids love an audience.

And? That’s why we need more money for more music in our schools?

Frequently, a teacher will have classical music playing as a class enters. It relaxes.

That is, if you believe your local classical radio station. Instead, how about smaller class sizes? Better teachers? Fewer standardized tests? Anything but teaching your kids that classical music is boring!

It calms and can increase academic performance.

Arg! But you haven’t mentioned that it might be related to problem solving instead of sedation. Causality is important here.

And children learn ''concert etiquette'' by going to musical programs.


Learning appropriate manners at concerts transfers to other educational settings and environments as well as classroom behavior.

Weird association. So, “concert etiquette” teaches children to behave; and that’s why we should want more money for our school music programs?

Music doesn’t teach them how to successfully write grants, but at least there’ll be less need, thus cost, to have armed police officers on campus.

Music programs in schools invite the public to attend their concerts. There will be many spring concerts. Some are free. Other facilities charge a couple of dollars.

Totally irrelevant.

Concert bands, orchestras and jazz are so important in school.

I way hear you.

Financial times are hard. Budgets are stretched to the limit. But we must not allow schools to cancel their performing arts programs.

I still way hear you.

Cut back -- perhaps. Cancel, no.

I’m so with you.

Parents need to rally and insist that part of a well-rounded education includes being exposed to music.

Like, I’m totally, so way with you.

The fine arts programs pay dividends throughout the child's life and into adulthood. Youngsters are our future and we need to invest heavily in them.

Dude. Right on!

Music Education is one business that must be on top of the investment podium.

Why was that, again?


Anonymous said...

Empiricus, how brave of you to post a photo of yourself!

Gustav said...

A PhD wrote that? Seriously? It reads as shallow and frivilous as though written by a 5th grader.

E, you may indeed find a second life as a copy editor. Perfectly written comments.