Music in schools is fundamental. Not everyone is on the path to education = career = success. Some people NEED a reason to be there and like someone further up said music classes provide that. I know cats that would skip math class but would never cut art because they wanted to put in work on their portfolio. Different paths. I do disagree with the person trying to dis schools for forcing sheet music and organization on music students. Not everyone is D. Just like not everyone is Mike J. The rest of us need lay up drills to work on our fundamentals. I agree whole heartedly that the school music programs could be much more open minded but let's not get so anti-estab that we push to "free" ourselves from learning fundamentals from which we can build into better improvisation.
On top of all this I would like to add also that education starts in the home and if it hadn't been for my parents encouraging and nurturing all my exploration of many talents I may not have found them at all. Altho Pops was pissed when I wanted to quit baseball to write and make paintings... But we can't depend on the struggling school system to educate and encourage our seeds that falls into our own laps and we cannot forget that. I'm all for working within the system but we have to examine the home program right along with our criticism of the current situation in schools.