Perhaps the cause [of disinterest in school music] is simply that… many students find that “music education” is irrelevant. In this uniquely expressive art form, the student is denied the experience of creation and is limited to a functional role in the re-creation of, at best, historical monuments. He seldom has the opportunity to use music for his own expressive needs, while he is expected to appreciate the expressive works of others. He is refused the role of evaluator or critic because educational attitudes, geared to traditional and fixed positions, do not allow for student judgments. He is usually denied experience in a living art because this too often violates limited concepts of historical doctrines and idiomatic systems upon which educational methods are based. The student may deem the subject matter to be irrelevant, because it appears “completed” and foreign to the realities of life and society as he knows them to be.
–Ronald B. Thomas, MMCP [Manhattan Music Curriculum Project] Synthesis