Well, once again, September is upon us, and the sounds of pencils sharpening and notebook paper turning is filling our schools all over. Reading, writing, and arithmetic may the core subjects of our nation’s priority, but don’t forget about the arts! While more and more arts programs are being relegated to fewer and fewer schools, or simply being eradicated from entire districts, it’s comforting to see so many students getting interested in participating in chorus, band, general music, and other musical activities that truly enrich their lives. The joy of practicing an instrument or working on singing that next chorus tune is certainly better than sitting on the couch watching TV or playing video games. Not only does music require multitasking, higher-level thinking, and dedication, it’s also incredibly fun! So if your music program is in danger of being cut, there are a number of ways that your voice can be heard. Organizations like the National Association for Music Education (NAfMe) and the New Jersey Music Teacher’s Association (NJMEA) are always doing their best to show schools just how important music is in a child’s life, and simply visiting their websites can give you information as to how to support your local music program. As the great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said: “Music has a power of forming the character, and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young”. More than two thousand years later, that statement still holds as much truth now as it did then”. So get as much out of the beginning of this school year as possible and get involved in the arts. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.