There are agencies in the community with the purpose of training students on music instruments. These agencies may or may not identify as professional recreation agencies, given the misunderstanding of the recreation profession. According to the Music For All Foundations Sound of Silence Executive Summary of September 2004, the California Basic Educational Data System reported a decline in music education in California by 50% from 1999-2003, while the student population increased by nearly 6%. Specifically, band participation (traditional wind and percussion classes) dropped 20.5 % and instrumental lessons (band, orchestra, guitar, etc.) dropped 41.4%. The two primary reasons cited for the decline include the increased testing since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the documented budget situation in California. With the sharp decline in statewide music education participation in general, and the self reported data which indicate limited participation in activities and a marked disconnection with school, I further questioned how accountability mandates affect what happens to arts programs, and specifically instrumental music instruction. Given declining enrollment status in the music classes, what are the options we can provide students to be musicians and to have the music experience as an instrumental performer?
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