The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 20, 2014

Student Voice: Music in 'treble' in our schools?


The Daily Item

— Two weeks ago, the choral director at my high school, Mrs. Kathy Bartol, read to my chorus class an article out of the PSEA Voice magazine called “The Day the Music Died.” The article noted how recent and excessive education budget cuts are threatening to wipe out many Pennsylvania schools’ music programs.

Ever since Jan. 18, 2012, the day Gov. Tom Corbett was sworn in, Pennsylvania public education has gone through major changes; not all positive.

With the push for teachers and students to meet high expectations on standardized tests, many schools have cut their tutoring programs, extracurricular, and most devastatingly, music/art programs. The article defended music as a necessary part of students’ education, stating, “in the 2012-13 school year students studying music scored 65 points better on their reading SATs and 43 points better on math,” while “second-graders who studied piano scored 27 percent higher on math tests.”

With these statistics documenting the importance of music education, why aren’t schools strengthening their music programs instead of cutting them?

Even as a freshman, I am active in my chorus program, not only singing, but also accompanying the piano for concerts. I feel that the music education I have received in school has helped me become a better and more well-rounded student. My musical talents allow me to express myself as a creative individual. I go to school looking forward to attending my music classes and I couldn’t imagine sitting in academic classes all day long.

To help remedy this injustice, petition your local school board or write a letter to your state representative voicing your opinions on the matter. If enough of us speak up, it might be the first step on the road to rebuilding our school programs.

Steven Pomykalski,

Selinsgrove High School