In a recent interview, British Prime Minister David Cameron asserted his stance on music education, stating that although it’s beneficial to students, we must rely on the fundamentals. “I’m a great believer that at the heart of a good education you’ve got to get the basics right,” said Cameron, “and so we’ve been quite tough saying the basics have got to be the reading, the writing, the numeracy.”
While Cameron believes education must be prioritized, others believe the basics of learning and the arts should go hand in hand. Several studies show studying music simultaneously with core subjects boosts vocabulary, strengthens critical thinking skills, and improves focus and memory, as well as countless extra benefits. Additionally, schools that have music programs have an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% in schools without music programs. Even with these facts, Cameron said “…the more I think you get the basics nailed down, the more opportunities there then are to look at art and culture and drama and music…” (Source)
However, Cameron has not completely given up on music in schools. The British government budgeted a substantial amount towards music education, and has put additional effort into allocating places for students to learn instruments. “There’s more to be done,” said Cameron, “but there’s a lot of work going into it at the moment.”
Do you agree with Cameron and believe the fundamentals of education provide more opportunities for the arts? Or do you think music should be prioritized on the same level as basic subjects in school? Should more emphasis be put into it because of the added benefits?