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How to start a music program

With budgetary blues playing all over the nation, music programs are getting silenced. Use this guide to bring music education back to your child's school.

By Rob Baedeker

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girl playing violin

The day the music died

If there were a song that told the story of the state of music education in our schools, it might be a slow, sad dirge. A 2008 study by the National Endowment for the Arts found a long-term decline in arts-education since 1982, with childhood music education showing the most dramatic reduction. This downward trend is especially painful given the academic and social benefits that music study offers.

Has your child's school reduced or eliminated its music program?   Don't sing the blues. With some organization and initiative, you can find the resources to start (or save) this critical component of your kids' education.  Try these 7 guidelines for implementing a school music program and report back on your experience.


Rob Baedeker is a writer living in Berkeley, Calif. He is the coauthor, with the Kasper Hauser comedy group, of SkyMaul: Weddings of the Times and Obama's BlackBerry.

Comments from readers

"I usually say that once something like music is eliminated in schools it is always boring, i like music so much and my son likes it too, their school eliminated music and he wanted to do it as a career and so i had to transfer him to a school that is best in music. Good post."
"I love the fact that some schools feel that a music program is essential!"