Experience with the arts is important throughout elementary school. Children often have specialist art teachers, especially in the intermediate grades. These twice-weekly sessions are most often devoted to vocal music, which is certainly beneficial; yet it would be far better if the arts program also included regular sessions of dance, painting, and instrumental music. The arts have an unstable history in our schools -- arts programs are sometimes viewed as less important than other programs, and they are often among the first to be cut when budgets are tight. Parents should therefore be vigilant, insisting that strong, balanced arts programs are essential and must be made available to their children.
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