The Instigator
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The Contender
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Musical education should not be removed from public schools.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,756 times Debate No: 41335
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I will be arguing that music programs should not be cut from the education system.
Please just refrain from using profanity or any other inappropriate comments.
First round is for acceptance. Good luck to my opponent!


Musical education, also known by pupils as "music", "that doss lesson" and "time to piss about".
No-one from the age of being able to bang a drum upwards has ever taken a music lesson seriously, it is a frustrating lesson simply because the number of pupils genuinely interested in the subject is relatively lower than that of the pupils who honestly could care less.
There are three types of pupils who you will find in a music lesson, none of them are particularly enjoying any aspect of the subject; expect perhaps the moments at which they are allowed to bang the instruments, and create as load a ruckus as possible, while the teacher does her best to conceal her cringe and shiver of disgust.
1)The first pupil is the tone deaf I don't want to be hear kid. This pupil knows they have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, and they will do their best to be as much of a nuisance as possible so that the whole class may also wallow with them in misery.
2)The second type of student is the one with focus but no skill. This pupil, despite a great work ethic and a willingness to work very hard simply does not posses the skill to masterfully play any instrument aside from perhaps the triangle.
3) The third and final pupil is very rare. This pupil has perhaps had extra music lessons from an early age, has a true talent and a passion for the subject. Because these people are rare in nature, they are often outnumbered when in music lessons and therefore, due to the ruckus being created by the pupils of parts (1) and (2) these pupils can not fully appreciate the lesson and they music and they too fail to glean any helpful knowledge from the lesson.
At the end of an hour, the students will obediently file out of the classroom, over 80% most likely do not even know what on Earth they have just done in that whole lesson, and so, what then happens is that after an hour no-one has learnt anything new and the music lesson has been completely and utterly fruitless; A waste of time if ever there was one.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for so courteously respecting the "terms and conditions", so to speak, for which I set this debate.

In response to my opponent's initial idea that music programs are not taken seriously, I would like to point out that in most high school and middle school environments, it is not required to take a course in either band or choir; these are generally electives, although I will acknowledge that in some cases the participation in said classes is mandatory. Because music courses are generally not obligatory, the students that partake in these classes are there by choice and enjoy them.

Con also brought up the point that courses in musical education are "frustrating" and that none of the students are "particularly enjoying any aspect of the subject", as well as the teacher in the scenario doing "her best so conceal her cringe and shiver of disgust". These facets can also be applied to nearly any other subject. How many students do you know enjoy mathematics, literature, or science? Many pupils would agree that with accordance to the varying level of difficulty in each course, they may, and do, become frustrated with the lesson and find it hard to concentrate.
For example, Con suggests that there are three types of students.
1) The first student could be referred to as a "class clown". This student, in any class that he may know nothing about, is the student that is distracting and disruptive to the lesson.
2) This is an average student in most cases. This pupil works diligently, but to no avail, as no matter how hard he tries, the lesson does not come easily to him and he cannot seem to become proficient in the subject.
3) The third student is the one with a natural inclination for learning. New lessons come easy to this pupil and he generally has no difficulty with finishing assignments and maintaining good grades. However, because of pupils (1) and (2), this student cannot progress as rapidly as he would be able to if it were just him, the teacher, and a few of the "star" students that match his learning capacity. So at the end of the class period, students walk away either utterly confused at what they've just learned and stressed about the assignments they don't know how to do, or they're annoyed with the slow pace at which the class is moving and their peers' inability to comprehend what they view as simple lessons.

Con's idea of the "three students" in a music classroom can more often than not be applied in any classroom. However, if someone were to suggest cutting Algebra II or chemistry from the curriculum because of budget cuts, they would be looked at as if they had three heads. No one barely bats an eyelash when art programs are cut, which includes musical education.

I look forward to my opponent's rebuttals.


The reason why art programs are the first to be cut instead of "Chemistry" and "Algebra" (as suggested by my opponent) is because most art subject are hobbies and something that only some children enjoy. It is also a subject that is dependent not entirely on how much effort you put in but also a certain level of skill. One can not honestly tell me that it is more important for a student to have a great musical education and appreciation and yet not understand anything about chemistry or even algebra. Though there are many life paths that students may later on decide upon which may not require either chemistry or algebra, these academic subjects are crucial to giving students the best opportunities to pursue almost any qualification.

Though I understand what my opponent has been trying to communicate in her further analysis of the 3 types of pupils one may find in a music lesson, She has failed to grasp my initial point. Because nothing much is accomplished in these obligatory music lessons, it makes no significant difference to the pupils whether or not they have the lesson. I would also briefly point out that the students who have a genuine passion for music will recognize the futility of the lessons and will receive private one to one tutoring and music lessons. Removing general music lessons will benefit everyone, the students who are truly fascinated and want to know more about the subject will be able to receive a better education and teachers can move them along at a faster pace. The students who do not want to be or do not understand music are not forced to endure through it, after all, for someone who does not enjoy the subject, having a music qualification is not important what so ever to future life plans, whereas other lessons for example English or maths are looked for in almost all career paths.

In order to fully understand that which I hope to communicate, one only needs to consider how many children (below GCSE as these are specifically chosen by students) achieve any level of musical qualification based on what they have learnt in a class lesson. I dare say that all the music students that I have ever encountered, have only successfully achieved grades in music because they were receiving the lessons - not as something on curriculum - but as an optional extra curriculum activity.
Debate Round No. 2


It appears that my opponent has never actually participated in a music class beyond possibly middle school. He also fails to recognize that MOST musical education classes are NOT mandatory.

My opponent suggests that musical education is based mostly on skill, and that effort comes second in the level of success a student achieves, however, that statement can be applied to any course one is required (or may choose) to take at a high school level. He also believes that musical education (such as band or choir for a few examples) offer no real educational value.

"Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9 percent graduation and 84.9 percent attendance." (11 Facts About Music Education).
Studies show that early musical education offered to developing children helps them to learn better, become more confident, and apply themselves more both socially and academically. Students that participate in music courses learn discipline, responsibility, and tolerance. They are less likely to become involved in the use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use. Pupils who take music lessons in school are also shown to learn to speak languages other than their primary quicker and better (1).
Students that participate in music courses score an average of 63 points higher on the verbal section of the SAT and 44 points higher in the mathematics section. Contrary to what my opponent has been saying, music students can improve themselves despite their initial skill level through discipline. Greatness does not happen simply by being born with it; it must be constantly worked towards. Students excel in music by practicing both in and out of class, studying their work - just like any other course, and working hard. This develops the students' persistence and disciplinary skills. Not only does learning music boost the student's confidence, it helps them interact with other musicians and students and meet new people, improving their social skills. (2)
Participating in music courses in school contributes to the student's chances of getting into colleges by showing that they are well-rounded individuals who are able to cooperate with others on a team, as well as showing that they have "school spirit" to some degree (3). Participating in courses pertaining to the arts not only plays a part in a student's admission into college, it helps them grow as an individual (4). This article suggests that participating in extra curricular, such as music, "enriches your life AND your college application" (5). A well-developed person with good social qualities and high academic scores is exactly what colleges look for, and even if the student does not plan on going into a career that directly involves the student's musical activity in high school, it helps them become a balanced adult.
Musical education not only helps students grow and develop during their junior high and high school years, but can play a huge part of their early development. On a basic level, music does not make you smarter. Music expands your abilities to learn in other areas.
""When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music"s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage," says Luehrisen. While children come into the world ready to decode sounds and words, music education helps enhance those natural abilities. " (PBS, 2013).
There is data which shows slight increases in the IQs of six-year-old children that have been exposed to music. Musical education can help a wide variety of people in varying ages with varying interests and should not be overlooked. It also aids in visualizing different elements together, helping children to do better in mathematics. Music makes the brain work harder because the mind of a musician works differently than that of a student that has no musical experience.
"There"s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you"re a musician and you"re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain." (Rasmussen).
I am forced to end my argument here for lack of space, but my point is clear. Students that are exposed to learning through music are changed in every aspect - behavior, concentration, awareness, listening skills, memory, etc. Cutting musical education with make the system regress as a whole.



taona forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by megan_Weiden13 3 years ago
I agree! Music has been proven to be an outlet for emotion, and can improve grades! It helps relieve stress, and leads children on a path that can lead them to success.
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