Of what should these national standards consist? Let me propose that music should be one of the core components of these national standards. Now at first music may seem a strange subject to start with – wouldn’t mathematics, science, or rhetoric be a more suitable choice to begin? The utilitarian features of these disciplines are self-evident: everyone needs to read, write, and count to function in society, while science is especially prized because we need scientists to manipulate nature for our greater material comfort and national defense. But what does music provide other than the amusement of smiles and well-wishes? What value does music have in and of itself?