How important is music education in schools?

In this May 5, 2011 photo, Nidalis Burgos keeps her eye on the conductor during a rehearsal for the after-school orchestra at Lafayette Specialty School in Chicago. Nadalis' mother calls her daughter's violin her "soul mate." She practices anywhere she can, in her bedroom, in the kitchen, on her back porch so she can hear the sound reverberate off the brick apartment buildings that line the alley. Usually, she warms up with "Ode to Joy," her mother's favorite song, and a fitting theme for a girl who truly seems to love playing. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)