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Denice Blanco

Professor Bruce

English 301

16 March 2017

Annotated Bibliography - MLA

Working Title:

In Support of Music Programs in Schools

Research Question:

Should music programs be supported in schools, despite the financial cost of supporting them?

Working Thesis:

Although supporting music programs may have some burdens on school districts, there are still

many more advantages, such as improved cognition and social skills, which outweigh the

disadvantages of music programs.


Music programs for school levels K-12 have continued to be taken away as districts

make budget cuts and look elsewhere to spend their money. Unfortunately, this may be doing

more harm than good. Without their knowing, the board of directors is depriving students from

beneficial opportunities that help with cognitive development, especially the visual, auditory,

and motor cortices (Collins), and social opportunities that teach students to create

connections with others. The amount of money that a district pays for each student in a music

program averages at about $187 per year (NAMM), a measly cost to pay for the added benefits

of music programs. Parents and community members have also dwindled on the border
towards cutting music programs due to their financial needs. According to Tillotson et al, many

parents showed support for their children after seeing them actively involved in a youth

orchestra, stating that being involved with music helped their children focus and learn to

concentrate on the task at hand (Tillotson et al.).


1. Collins, Anita. How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain Anita Collins. YouTube,

uploaded by Ted-Ed, 22 July 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0JKCYZ8hng.

a) This video shows how the brain gets a workout from playing a musical instrument and

how brain functions are strengthened.

b) This source will help support my claim that music enhances cognitive development. In

this video it states that the brains visual, motor, and auditory cortices are especially

getting a workout. This source goes into further detail about the brains enhanced

performance in academics like math and linguistics, but also in creativity.

2. Study First to Detail the Costs of Comprehensive Music Education. NAMM, 28, Aug. 2012,



a) This looks at the average financial cost of providing music programs in elementary

schools, the main cause for cutting music programs.

b) This source shows that music programs dont actually cost that much to support. If it is

the cost that stops music programs from flourishing, students should raise the money

themselves in order to continue doing something that they claim to love. This measly
cost shows that the debate over cutting music programs due to a financial strain isnt

much of a debate at all.

3. Sussman, Eliahu. "Music as a Vehicle for Social Change." School Band & Orchestra, 14.1

(2011): 24-30.

a) This source takes a look into Venezuelas music program, El Sistema, and its success in

teaching students social skills.

b) This program talks about the kids involved in their music groups and how they are able

to change their lifes trajectory from the streets to the road to success. These kids

were given the opportunity to create a network of connections, develop their social

skills through playing in a group, and taught them self-discipline and passion. This

source will help bolster my claim that music programs are able to develop social skills

and teach children valuable lessons that can be used throughout life, both in music

programs and outside them.

4. Tillotson, Kristin, and Kristin Tillotson; Staff Writer. "Playing for Keeps; as Music Programs at

Many Schools Continue to Shrink, Independent Youth Symphonies Offer Kids the Chance

to Be Part of an Orchestra. Parents Say the Lifelong Benefits Are Well Worth the Time

and Money." Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), (2003): 01F.

a) Parents show their support for music education and share the benefits that music has

provided for their children.

b) After finding fewer opportunities to advance their musical education, many kids choose

to participate in youth orchestras. The parents of these kids state that the investment

they put into their children pays off when they see that their children are able to focus

more in school and display confidence in themselves to succeed. This source will help

me make the case that parents should care more about what their children are getting

out of the music program instead of what they are putting in (money).