By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING – Budget struggles have forced many K-12 public school districts to make sacrifices over the last decade – and the steady disappearance of music programs has hit a sour note among some parents and educators. You could even say it struck a discordant chord. About 77 percent of teachers and 64 percent of parents rated music and arts education important or extremely important in a nationwide survey dubbed “Striking a Chord” andconducted by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The foundation supports research and develops public service programs to improve music participation. “K-12 education includes exposure and experiences in the arts, and I think that when students don’t have access to that, it makes a huge impact on their present learning as well as their future career opportunity,” said Linda Wacyk, director of communications for the Michigan Association of School Administrators.