Melissa Walker, a professional jazz vocalist and president and founder of Jazz House Kids in Montclair, N.J., and Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia, joined forces to write a piece on the benefits of music education.
Here is their essay:
By Melissa Walker and Peter Smagorinsky
Public schools, in general, have become incriminated in the public mind for having failed society. They must be re-envisioned, restructured, reassessed, and refinanced if they are to serve the public good, according to commentators ranging from folks waiting in line at the post office to governors and national policymakers. Given that schools provide the one common experience that all Americans have, it’s easy to blame them for anything that might follow from attendance, no matter how tenuous the connection. If something’s wrong with society, it must be a problem that schools and teachers are responsible for.
One approach to