Music education in New York City public schools is on the verge of extinction. But, of course, you already knew that.
In the 2014-2015 school year, only 23% of all high school students received classroom training in music education. Of those students, only a handful received studio training in the sonic and recording arts.
It’s difficult for schools to obtain funding for arts programs in New York City, but the Department of Education requires students to complete one year of music, art, or theatre studies prior to graduation. Many public schools in low-income areas unfortunately cannot provide these classes for their students.
Even though numerous studies have shown that music education helps students’ learning comprehension in other core academic disciplines, music education is continually among the first programs cut in fledgling public schools across NYC and the United States.
When faced with a lack of resources, students are forced to think critically and get creative, and digital technology has made it possible for anyone to get involved in creating and recording music. With MIDI and easy-to-use recording programs, it’s even easier to keep music in the hands of students- but they need to learn how to use this technology effectively and efficiently, while still learning traditional musical pedagogy in the process. This is what the sonic arts are all about, and it’s the basis of our curriculum at SAFA!.
Sonic arts gives students the opportunity to take charge of their music education. In a public school system that lacks the arts resources its students need and crave, SAFA! brings an alternative to classical music education and allows for students of all skill levels to express themselves and explore their world through music.
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