Why We Need Music Education

Let me be perfectly clear.

I don’t think arts education is a cure-all. But I do know this: singing together brings people together. It literally teaches empathy.

I don’t think choir should be required of high school students, but I do believe that there should be a culture supporting it comparable to the culture around athletics.

I don’t think that every young man I’ve taught has always been a paragon of respect. But I can think of precious few who did not default to kindness. And I know that their time in the choir built that portion of their brain which inhibits egregious disrespect.

Singing in the choir makes them better people.

This is not a political issue: this is a human issue. This is not the way men talk, this is not the way men behave. I and every other male choir director I know are consciously demonstrating positive examples of respectful masculinity.

I do know that tens of thousands of young men singing in high school choir this year will be better men because they do.

I don’t think singing in the choir is a panacea. But I do think it can be our last best hope for reaching young men and teaching them how to be human.