Music instruction continues to be cited as a profoundly positive element of educating young students. Our own experience as well as countless studies validate the benefits of elementary music education in the development of a student’s ability to understand new concepts, think logically, solve problems, exercise intellectual and personal discipline and perform confidently individually and as part of a group. Further, as a Fine Art, music draws on virtually all elements of multiple intelligences and introduces opportunities for exposure to varied cultural and historical elements so critical to today’s learning environment and lifelong success in academic and vocational pursuits. Finally, as Catholic educators, we are exhorted to consider the importance of music, especially in its
liturgical application, in shaping the whole person presented to us by God for our care and instruction.
All this said, it is a lamentable fact that prioritizing and funding of elementary music education at the beginning of this century is being challenged and, in some cases, compromised or even eliminated, despite the continuing strong influence of its allies, including the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Our special mission as Catholic educators calls us to stand firm against this trend, employing guidelines that are comprehensive, functional and applied as universally as possible by our gifted music educators and their principals to insure the continued viability of this valuable element of a young person’s educational experience.