The Instigator
sdquinn
Pro (for)
Losing
45 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
54 Points

Art and/or music are important in grade school.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,015 times Debate No: 3494
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (29)

 

sdquinn

Pro

Art and music programs are important to children in grade school as young minds are the most able to be cultivated and the benefits of both art and music on developing minds have been shown in various research publications.

Art programs are able to cultivate developing artists to help gain jobs as artists -- as when competition arises for artistic competitions in later forms of education, those educated with art programs in grade school are more likely to succeed due to having more experience in their craft.

Music programs are able to help instill knowledge in grade school kids at an elementary level of musical theory that could flourish into intermediate and advanced knowledge of music theory that creates future composers of music used in both commercial uses as well as uses that could entertain and inform the world in the future.

If art and music programs were removed from grade schools, knowledge of art and music would be stalled which would limit the amount of jobs in art and music.
Danielle

Con

Greetings & Good Luck!

Because the character limit restrains me from providing an adequate opening argument, instead I will get right to the punch:

In regard to my opponent's first point, I agree with him entirely that young minds are like sponges that are able to absorb knowledge and information at a higher rate than older individuals. Therefore it is necessary to promote education at a young age. However, one must ask themselves why receiving an education is so important in our society and around the globe. History and Anthropology alike show us that one's education has a lot to do with their success in life; brain power is increasingly becoming favorable over brawn, even in blue collar jobs where workers are now required to read and write more than ever before, in addition to working with computers and dealing with a large amount of paperwork. Additionally, higher levels of schooling lead to new job opportunities and open more doors for an individual. This is a fact.

Over time, different aspects of education were included to reflect the views of society. For instance, religious education was taught in public schools during the colonial era in the United States; at other points in history it was essentially required that women attend finishing school to learn proper etiquette. However the subject matters that have withstood the test of time regardless of the times are indeed the three R's: reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic. Rather than spending time in the classroom finger painting or singing (this could be an option during recess, but should not take up valuable class time), I would rather children in this country practice and improve on those three R's for a number of reasons.

First, it has come to our attention that education in the United States is lacking in comparison with countries from other nations. This type of set back, while not too threatening now, could pose a huge problem in the future if other nations including our enemies use their superior education to promote actions and ideas that could hurt the United States. Second, the job market in this country is becoming more and more competitive with each passing year. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain a good job and earn a decent living without receiving higher education, particularly a college degree (at least). Because it is absolutely true that one's value in the workforce is almost always judged at least somewhat by the institution they receive their education from, admission into "good" colleges is becoming more and more competitive. One of the main ways a college admission group determines whether or not a student is eligible to receive admittance into their university is that student's performance on the infamous SAT exam. The current SAT exam is divided into three parts that are composed of the three R's - not art or music. Thus, I have proved that reading, writing and arithmatic are more important than the arts.

If my opponent wishes to argue that participation in regards to art and music helps stimulate the brain to better perform the three R's, I would like them to prove to me that NOT participating in art or music actually HURTS your performance in those areas. Chances are Pro will not be able to supplement such a request. This is because while some studies show that art and more specifically music can improve one's grasp of certain skills, not only is it not a guarantee but children and adults alike are just as capable of succeeding and excelling at the three R's regardless of whether or not they have any comprehension of music or art. Additionally, I would like to counter this argument by also stating that becoming so fascinated with art and/or music can actually hurt or hinder a student's performance. You see or hear of it all the time -- students becoming more interested in the arts than they are with other aspects of their education.

Furthermore, not every student is artistically inclined. While this also leads to a subjective grading experience, it can also deter students from wanting to go to school or participate in other activities because of their embarassment at not being good in these particular fields. Not only will this hurt the child emotionally, but it can also lead to teasing, frustration, and the rejection of school in general. Keep in mind that grade school refers to young children; they might not have the capacity to understand why they are being forced to participate in activities that do not interest them or have any practical use in their every day lives.

And finally, just because learning about art or music can help a child better grasp other aspects of education does not necesarilly mean that we should implement it as a mandatory part of the curriculum. For instance, certain video games (not just 'educational' ones) have been known to help children learn communication skills, hand-eye coordination, strategy, levels of math including statistics and of course reasoning. Not to mention that video games can also promote social skills such as winning gracefully and being a good competitor. However, would you, Pro, want to see video games included in the mandatory curriculum as well?

At last I get to move on to my opponent's second point. I couldn't disagree more that an artist who took art classes in grade school had a greater competitive edge over the ones that didn't. So first, I ask that Pro show me proof that this is the case. That said, let's be real -- we don't learn advanced art techniques when we are little kids. In grade school art classes, we color, finger paint, draw, and make shapes out of pipe cleaners. Now, it is true that one who learns a skill from a young age has more of an advantage over a later learner, however, this is not always the case. Typically the skills learned that would even be useful when reaching a level of competitive art (getting into art school...?) would be taught later on in a child's life anyway, say in HS or during other outside art lessons. Which brings me to my next point. I believe that it is fair to say a child who learns a skill and then refines it throughout their life has a definite advantage. Example: Tiger Woods and Venus and Serena Williams who have each been playing their respective sports since the age of 2. However, neither golf nor tennis is part of the mandatory curriculum in grade school. Therefore, if one wishes to hone a talent, they can do so outside of the parameters of school.

On that note, I will move on to my opponent's third point: elementary knowledge of music --> composers that provide entertainment. Maybe, but not always. I'm willing to bet that not everyone who knows 'Every Good Boy Does Fine' can write or even play an arrangement close to Bach's. And speaking of Bach, do you think he learned his skill at grade school? (No, his brother taught him). My point is that while not everyone who can write will pen a best seller, writing is a functional skill that individuals apply to their every day lives, whereas reading, writing and playing music in particular are not as useful or necessary. Also, even without music education in grade school, composers and musicians will still find a way to flourish. Some of the greats don't even have ANY formal training! This negates my opponent's fourth point that jobs in art and music would be limited. If he is referring to education specifically, then yes, but otherwise artists can still be artists regardless of whether or not they are teachers.

Regrettably I have run out of characters! However in this round I have responded and refuted each and every of my opponent's points as well as made an abundance of my own. In the next round I will continue by addressing how art and music education affects the economy and tax resources, as well as alternative options to removing them from the curriculum. I welcome my opponent to address these topics first if he so chooses.
Debate Round No. 1
sdquinn

Pro

sdquinn forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Because my opponent did not reply in Round 2, I will take this opportunity to continue with the points I promised to address at the end of Round 1.

1. Funding

Not only are art and music classes unnecessary to have in grade school, they are also very expensive. These classes often call for the purchasing of pricey supplies such as musical instruments including at least one piano, music stands, paints, oils, canvas, sheet music, etc. Keep in mind that these things (especially the art supplies) need to be replaced on a continual basis. If you add up all the costs, it could be thousands and thousands of dollars spent needlessly whereas there are other more practical and useful school programs that could make better use of the money instead. Even if that were not the case, instead of charging tax payers the burden of providing these often unappreciated classes for many disinterested students, perhaps taxes could be lowered to save citizens/residesnts money and instead put that cash back into our struggling economy.

2. Alternative Options

I do recognize the value of a music education and/or art appreciation in society today. However that does not mean that art and music have to be an essential part of the grade school experience. For instance, I see all of the positive aspects of being involved in athletics. You learn teamwork, discipline, time management, good sportsmanship, school spirit, and most of all take active strides in trying to stay healthy and fit. However sports are hobbies and activities that people can choose to join and take part in outside of school paramaters. If they play a sport in school, it is by choice and many times people are responsible for providing their own equipment, gear, etc. Sometimes people even have to pay for practice time. For instance my HS was a private school; students on the golf team had to pay a local country club for using their golf course for games. And such is an option for students who wish to partake in art or music programs.

Another perspective I can offer is this: Physical fitness classes or Gym are required to take in grade school. It is an important thing to learn and take part in. However sports in general are not stressed; just the act of staying fit and doing different things to promote physical wellness. In comparison to art and music, I support learning about these topics in a historical context or in a way that they relate to the school work at hand, such as if it corresponds to a lesson regarding a social science, for example. However going into detail and spending time learning special artistic skills is unnecessary. So basically, while I think it is important for children to know about Jackie Robison and his contribution to society, I don't think it is important for kids to know how to play baseball and spend a great deal of money teaching it. Similarly, I think a child should be aware of Leonardo da Vinci and his feats but not necesarilly learn how to draw or paint.

Thus my proposition is this: allow for classes or programs regarding art or music to exist in grade school, however, not be funded by government spending. Instead children can be exposed to these fields via their parents, friends and family; television; volunteer programs; specialized institutions that their parents can pay for them to learn; etc. Because again learning these things is a want, not a need. Money can be better spent elsewhere in the education system today.

Thank you and back to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2
sdquinn

Pro

sdquinn forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited this debate. I wish him luck in the next round. Perhaps we shall meet again!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
REMINDER:

If someone forfeits two rounds, it is a complete debate forfeit as far as the tournament goes. In other words, no judge needs to officially judge it.

Luke Cumbee
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Starting to look like a spread, hehe, I'm interested to see the response on this one.
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
Saquinn - that sucks! I hate when that happens! I'm sorry that happned and good luck writing back in time... I look forward to your response :)
Posted by sdquinn 9 years ago
sdquinn
You know, I had a 1000+ character reply typed up and Firefox crashed.

Will gather my response to you by the deadline tomorrow.
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
Yraelz -- Indeed!

Judging is a funny thing. I found myself wishing I could interject all over the place while starting to judge a debate this morning, but alas I refrained from including my own personal opinions/rebuttals haha since they weren't there for me to vote on! Anyway let me get back to that now...

And thanks for the luck ~ you too :)
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Haha, I hope I receive the opportunity to argue this from either side. Good luck to the both of you.
Posted by numa 9 years ago
numa
oh my god... pro doesn't stand a chance.
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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