As students return in-person, here’s a reminder that arts and music are essential in education

As students across the United States navigate education during the COVID-19 pandemic, music and art education deliver substantial developmental and educational benefits. We’re thrilled the San Diego Union-Tribune has published an op-ed written by Dalouge Smith, CEO of The Lewis Prize for Music, uplifting this important message.

Last fall, Luna, Bruno, Cesar and Kate enrolled in college immediately out of high school. As Latinx youth who speak English as a second language, college was never a certainty for them. Their start was even more impressive in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when enrollment from low income and majority non-White high school students declined significantly more than enrollment at high-income or low-minority-enrollment schools.

Along with having engaged families, they shared the key experience of learning music. After handing them their first instruments 10 years ago, I have witnessed music’s role in helping them succeed.

Their stories are affirmed by overwhelming evidence-based results showing music and arts education deliver substantial developmental and educational benefits. Yet these subjects have been diminished for decades in schools that serve the most diverse populations. Instead, too many young people have their days built around double blocks of language arts and mathematics, a strategy failing to narrow students’ outcomes.

Last June, McKinsey & Company projected that at least 40 percent of low-income Black and Hispanic high school students would fall dramatically further behind due to virtual schooling and that dropouts could increase by 1.1 million students as a result of the pandemic.

Read the original story and learn more here >>
Originally Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune

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