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The melodious sounds of the piano filled the room, as the stress trickled off Sara’s shoulders. She was overworked and constantly agonizing over her upcoming tests. But as each key played its note creating a serene atmosphere, her muscles began to relax.

What you just read is the truth of music. When someone is bored, pained, stressed or depressed, playing an instrument can help. I believe music is important; it’s the mainstream of education. Don’t you want to be that stress-free, educated person?

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Often, when I’m stressed out and I need time for myself to just think and relax, I play an instrument. It really helps me bring out my inner self.

Not only does music relieve stress, it places responsibility on the person. When a child wants to master an instrument, he or she has to become responsible. He or she will start to gain more control over his/her actions. My little brother used to be extremely disorganized until he started guitar lessons. Learning to play an instrument made him feel more mature which soon led to him being more responsible.

Musical instruments weren’t made to collect dust in an attic or closet. They were made to bring joy to those who play them and to those who listen to them. And, in the hands of a child with talent, passion and persistence, an instrument can change a life.

Musicians are challenged on a regular basis to test the limits of their ability and, when they perform, they learn that hard work pays off. There is growing research demonstrating that students who participate in music programs do better academically, including scoring higher on college entrance exams. I believe studying to play an instrument is great training for many of the skills students need to succeed in life, regardless of the field they go into.

While we all know that schools are facing financial shortages, that’s not a reason to shortchange a large number of students in musical education. We need to work together to make sure all students have an opportunity to explore their creativity.

Music is often considered an extracurricular activity, one for which students have to make time to participate in, but there is no reason for it to be taught separately from everything else that goes on in school. Especially in elementary school, music can and should be part of everything that goes on in a regular classroom. Just as students use social studies to sharpen their writing skills, so too music can blend well with other subjects.

I urge parents, teachers, school administrators and policy makers to make music education a part of every child’s life! For the musical skills it imparts, for the knowledge it conveys and above all the joy it brings. As Confucius said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”

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