Arts, Education and Presidential Candidates

The Presidential election is coming up in just a few short months. Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, if you’re reading Halftime Magazine, then you care about music education. Now that we’re down to the final candidates, let’s see where they stand on the arts and education in general.

In his 1987 book, “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” Republican nominee Donald Trump recounts a childhood story in which he punched his music teacher in the face “because I didn’t think he knew anything about music.”

He cites the story as “evidence that even early on I had a tendency to stand up and make my opinions known in a very forceful way. The difference now is that I use my brain instead of my fists.”

Trump spent his high school years at the New York Military Academy, where he marched each year on Fifth Avenue during the Columbus Day Parade though without instruments.

For education, in general, Trumps believes in cutting the U.S. Department of Education and the Common Core in favor of localization as well as business-like competition among educational institutions and overall school choice for citizens.

For Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, music has played a role in her campaign though not as notably as for her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who was often seen performing on his saxophone in photos and television.

Many articles have analyzed Clinton’s choice of campaign music, which includes Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.”
In the Dec. 12, 2015 issue of Billboard, Hillary Clinton wrote an essay introducing the magazine’s Women in Music issue, which honored both performers and music industry executives. “My hope is that women and girls around the world will hear these artists’ songs, learn their stories, and feel a greater sense of ¬possibility for their own lives,” Clinton wrote.

Clinton’s stance on general education includes being supportive of Common Core standards though not as a method for teacher evaluation as well as a universal pre-K plan.

In an April 2016 speech for the New York State United Teachers, she stated her intention to raise the status of teachers through “TLC—teaching, learning, and community.”

“One of my main goals as president will be to launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching” by raising teachers’ pay, developing training and support programs, and improving the social well-being of all children, Clinton said.

Between now and Election Day, perhaps more information will be shed on the candidates’ stance on education and music instruction in particular.

Keep on Marching,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.

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