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April 29, 2014 North Carolina State Board of Education 301 North Wilmington Street, Room 212 6302

Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-6302 Dear members of the North Carolina State Board of Education: My name is Lauren Gruber, a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Upon doing extensive research at my time here at the university, it has come to my attention that music classes are being removed from schools at high rates. In fact, music is the most frequently cut from schools than any other programs involved in the Arts. I am writing to bring to your attention that music classes indeed are effective in public schools, and should not be removed. Music education is a very controversial subject that is being talked about within the community of families as well as public schools. Many teachers and parents believe that teaching music is unnecessary and a waste of money and time. The most common misconception regarding music education is, music requires talent in order to be successful, so why should we take away from important subjects such as science and math when music can be pursued outside of school? But studies have shown that teaching music in schools has proved beneficial to not only students, but to the community as well. A study in 2003 showed that within a sample of 1,613 students and 42 teachers, 90 percent of them had a positive attitude towards music in schools. In primary and secondary schools, kids were shown to have positive attitudes, qualities of teamwork, and were drawn to more extra-curricular activities. Teachers admitted to enjoying class, while the only complaints were the strain for money and the lack of technology and instruments. Another study showed how the success of Motown had stemmed from music education in public schools, which changed culture and society and is still appreciated in the world today. Other studies have shown that music heightens other qualities in students as well. Practicing instruments encourages self-discipline and dedication, performing and collaborating with other musicians creates teamwork, education in subjects such as music theory and music history help students gain knowledge and intelligence, performing in front of others creates confidence, and receiving praise and encouragement boosts self-esteem as well as other commonly found qualities such as hard work, humility and the ability to set goals. Music is also a release from difficult subjects it is proved that music generally is enjoyable and stress relieving. Music is immensely overlooked and has many benefits to students and the community. Although budget may be an issue, measures such as fundraising and school events should be considered to keep such an important subject in schools. I

myself, as a multi-instrumental music business student, wouldnt have discovered my dream of becoming a producer without music classes in Elementary, Middle and High School. Musicians in the Motown movement wouldnt have pursued their passions and talents without music education, and the Civil Rights movement might have never occurred. Why should we block ways for culture to be changed? Why should we take away the teamwork, community, and enjoyment that music in public schools brings? Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Lauren Gruber The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd Charlotte, NC 28223-0001