Recent academic pressures have shifted focus away from the arts to math and science. While math and science are extremely important and are needed for 21st century jobs, the arts are equally as important.
Strong art programs actually enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning. Many great scientists and inventors had significant backgrounds in music and art. For example, Albert Einstein played the violin his whole life, and Benjamin Franklin played the violin, harp, and guitar. Franklin even composed music.