"Next Year in Jerusalem": The Trials an Triumphs of Music in the Schools of Preston, Idaho, 1888-1995

Jill Durrant, Utah State University

This work made publicly available electronically on May 31, 2012.


Throughout time, music has played a pivotal role in the lives of people. In every country, among every ethnicity, and as part of every culture, music has a presence. Music often acts as a mirror, reflecting aspects of society and history in ways that even the ordinary person can understand. No matter what the form—religious, popular, classical, folk—music has the ability to reveal something about the people who created it, performed it, and enjoyed it. Because of this overarching presence of music in the structure of almost every civilization, it is no surprise that music has always had some part in the way those societies choose to educate their children. Music has long been included in the public schools of the United States, but that history in education is a rocky one—as evidenced by the story above—fluctuating up and down according to the whims of administration, economic situations, educational policies and reforms, and the desires of communities. Music has been continually under pressure to prove its value as an educational subject and hold its own against other subjects and activities despite centuries of evidence in its favor.