Two groups that have been negatively impacted at a greater level than most are schools and the arts community.

Now, thanks to the support of Northern Light Health, children across Maine will be able to experience the magic of orchestral music all year long.

WABI-TV reports that with the help of Northern Light, Maine schools have the opportunity to stream the entire Bangor Symphony season right from their classroom. Already 200 schools from across the state have signed up.

Considering how difficult it has been for students to be enriched by local music, this is a welcome change. The arts have always been a very important part of education. It also ends up on the school budgetary chopping block more often than not.

According to the Save The Music Foundation, music education funding is typically an easy cut, especially during times of crisis.

I would say we are probably in one of those "times of crisis right now."

I can't even begin to explain how dangerous this thinking is. I grew up playing music. Half of my classes at Gorham High School were in the music room. The skills, relationships, life lessons taught through music, and art in general, are more valuable than many other classes taken throughout my education. Arts can be invaluable.

Thankfully, research is starting to prove the value of art in education. A study run by the Kinder Institute stated,

...researchers found arts-learning experiences benefit students in terms of reductions in disciplinary infractions, increases in compassion for others and improvements in writing achievement. Furthermore, arts-education experiences improve school engagement and college aspirations.

A big hat tip to Northern Light Health and the Bangor Symphony. It's refreshing to see influential organization understand the value of art in schools. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a trend to help support art education.

WABI reports that schools K-12 can still sign up to get a direct stream of the Bangor Symphony by going to

Check Out the Best-Selling Album From the Year You Graduated High School

Do you remember the top album from the year you graduated high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, looking at the best-selling album from every year going all the way back to 1956. Sales data is included only from 1992 onward when Nielsen's SoundScan began gathering computerized figures.

Going in chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present the best-selling album from the year you graduated high school.

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