My name is Collette Ryder, Class of 1996, Music major (Voice), and current President of the ESU Alumni Association Board of Directors. There has been an announcement that the Music Department is currently under consideration for retrenchment.
Research shows that involvement in music – whether through performance or simple appreciation – has positive effects on learning, mental health, and stress. Studies have shown that students involved in music, either instrumental or vocal, have greater success in mathematics and science.
A recent study by Chorus America found that estimated 42.6 million Americans regularly sing in choruses today, making choral singing the most popular performing arts platform for both children and adults. Additionally, the study found that singing in a choir relates strongly to attributes for success later in life – civic involvement, teamwork, and discipline.
When I was a student at ESU, I was one of two Music majors at the University. However, we had over two hundred other students involved in the bands and vocal groups, independent study, piano classes, etc., and we didn’t even HAVE a marching band at that time. Most of my classmates were from disciplines such as Chemistry, Biology, and Computer Science, but I feel confident that they would agree that their lifelong involvement in music and the arts led them to be better students.
I understand the current financial climate is extremely difficult. However, it is my belief that the elimination of the Music major, and the subsequent likelihood of the elimination of the professors and instructors within the department, will be detrimental to the overall quality of education at the University, and to the community in which the University lives.
Collette L. Ryder, ’96
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this letter are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of the ESU Alumni Board of Directors.
Contact Collette at firstname.lastname@example.org