Over the past few years, funding for art and music has suffered some setbacks as the funding goes instead to subjects like English and math. However, the value of music on young minds, especially the music of other cultures such as French, Spanish, and German music ensures that music education doesn’t go down that easily.
Understanding of others
Especially as cultures get more and more diverse and let students with different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds into schools, music can be a bridge between the cultures that can help a French school understand the background of African students, or for English students to connect to a Muslim student.
This learning isn’t forced and doesn’t focus on the differences of the students or presents them in a bad light, but instead, the differences are shared through a common ground to help students of different cultures understand one another.
Bringing people out of their shells
For many students who are in schools that have a different culture than theirs as a majority, music provides a common way for these students to express themselves and bring a little bit of their culture to classmates.
Oftentimes this can help shepherd friendships between students of different cultures because music is not only a natural connector but also a gateway for people to express their inner feelings. When someone is happy, sad, lonely, or dealing with a situation that is too difficult to put into words, using music to personally deal with the situation can help soothe troubled emotions.
Plus if a song is well liked by peers, it often imprints on the minds of the people who hear it. A new kid who sings a cool or interesting song isn’t just a new kid anymore, and the song can open doorways for conversation and friendship.
Brings new memories
Chances are most people will remember where they were when they heard a certain song played for the first time, or with a certain someone, or when they performed it for the first time. This goes doubly so when listening to music that is from a different culture.
The foreign sounds, lyrics, and melodies will often be unforgettable to the listener’s brain. So every time they hear of a certain culture’s style of music, they will instinctively flashback to listening to the first song and be more accepting of hearing the different style again.
A case for music and art
Funding for the arts must continue, because music is just one art form that every single culture has, to say nothing of painting, drama, and other forms of communication that can cross barriers and borders at a young age. By connecting an Englishman to a French musician, or an American to the music of Muslim countries, people can learn to identify with and care about cultures.
That process of identification and understanding might help build a more tolerant and peaceful