She asked for more ukeleles.
At our Parent Council Meeting last week, the principal brought a funding request to the Council from the music teacher. She wanted money to buy more ukeleles.
I get that music is important. I get that sharing ukeleles in a crowded class of 9 yr olds is not conducive to a positive teaching environment. But .. ukeleles? Listen to the drum beat in the distance. It’s not a snare or a bongo or some cool tribal drum. It’s the echoing call for kids needing to learn how to code.
“Children aged from 5-11 have so much potential for learning about algorithms and computation that it would be a shame to wait until they are teenagers before we teach them the foundations…The most obvious argument, of course, is economic: Demand for software developers already far outstrips supply, and it’s expected to increase 30 percent by 2020 — more than double the average for all other jobs. ” – [Wired]
We need coding in school to get them prepared for the real world. More than 90% of schools in the US don’t offer any computer programming classes.
Music has its place – as an elective. Coding, computer skills, and learning to program needs to be mandatory. Lessons on how to build web pages, social media ethics, and privacy are eternally more useful than learning Twinkle Twinkle on the recorder or Tiptoe Through The Tulips on the ukelele.
Our school has hired a choral instructor. Kids in Grade 3 and 4 will get a few hours a week of choral training. This is at a public school with a focus on French and Spanish immersion. It’s not a religious school. It’s not an arts school. It’s not a music school. It’s a language school that will be teaching kids how to.. sing.
Sorry, but that is not a necessary life skill. Coding, proper internet usage, savvy searching, copyright lessons, how to write, webpage markup, proper visual layout, privacy advcoacy.. now those are some life skills I can get behind.
So, with a vacuum at the school level, parents are being forced to pick up the slack and have coding be the extra curricular elective instead of music.
If you want to get your kids ready for the future, here’s how you can get them coding:
Image via iStockPhoto