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Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores

In a mobile classroom — basically a trailer outfitted with a desk and some chairs — music teacher Chris Miller works with a group of active kindergartners dressed in green and khaki school uniforms. He teaches them the basics: musical concepts, artists and styles of music. “Everybody repeat after me,” he says. “Wade in the water.” Kids sing back, “Wade in the water.”

Though classes like Miller’s still exist, the arts have been known to fall down the priority list amid pressure on schools to improve test scores. Backers of music education have responded to that pressure by pointing to the academic benefits of learning music, like better grades and improved attendance.