Research Findings on the Status of Music Education in U.S. Public Schools
The late-2015 reauthorization of federal K-12 legislation, now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (or ESSA), orients K-12 schooling around the notion of a “well-rounded education” comprising eighteen distinct subject areas of which “music” and “the arts” are each specifically enumerated. Given the status of music as a named component of the nation’s “well-rounded” education, Give A Note Foundation, with support from the Country Music Association, sought to understand the present status of music education in the nation’s public schools. The Foundation interviewed music educators and supervisors across the United States, and distributed a survey to a sample of schools with music education programs to gain knowledge about music education in public schools. Overall, the survey and the interviews with music educators and supervisors from across the nation largely replicate previous studies on the status of music education in the nation’s schools, while also providing more detailed context for the work music educators do every day.
This survey, and the accompanying interviews, provide a more in-depth perspective on several areas of interest to the music education field, and, in particular, to advocates working to create better and more music education opportunities for our nation’s children. Taken together with the existing research on the status of music education and music educators in American schools, some important questions are raised and others remain.
Read the findings from the research and next steps to take.