Michigan bill would require music, art education in K-5 curriculum

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DETROIT – A new bill would require music and art education to be a part of the K-5 curriculum in Michigan.

Michigan Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) introduced the bill (Senate Bill 804) last week. The bill has several co-sponsors, including Sen. Curtis Hertel, Sen. Marshall Bullock, Sen. Sylvia Santana, Sen. Jim Ananich, Sen. Paul Wojno, Sen. Dayna Polehanki, Sen. Stephanie Chang and Sen. Wayne Schmidt.

Senate Bill 804 would require 90 minutes of music and 90 minutes of art instruction per week with certificated teachers for each respective subject area. It also would require districts to have a separate, dedicated budget for music and art, and the legislature to provide funding for any additional costs.

“Music and art education have, time and again, proven to benefit students by enhancing and complementing what traditional subjects achieve. As we teach the younger generation to be innovative and thoughtful leaders, instruction in music and the arts should be an integral part of the public-school experience. A recent Forbes article cites an extensive study that related higher academic achievement in core subjects in students with regular access to art and music education," Sen. Erika Geiss said.

“We should be expanding our students’ abilities to think outside the box by teaching them skills that enable them to both better understand themselves and collaborate with others — which is exactly what music and the arts do. The creativity that is innate in music and art education strengthens critical thinking skills and allows for a deeper level of engagement as kids interact with the world around them.”

The bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee.

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