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Music in Schools - Important topic

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Hambone, Jan 25, 2004.


  1. I just thought it was a good time to remind everyone to support the music programs in their local schools. As you my know, funding crunches nationwide have lead to the reduction or elimination of music programs everywhere. I believe this trend is damaging the quality of education and is the sort of irreversible policy that governements often take when there isn't enough shouting from their constituents.

    But I want everyone who has taken music classes in school to reflect on how that changed your life. Don't lie, you know it did! The classes you took in elementary, middle, and high school were probably the best times you had - if not some of the best grades you ever attained. Keep that in mind when you look at the gaggle of kids leaving school in the afternoon and think about how different their musical world could (needs to) be with exciting, engaging courses to learn and understand music.

    So, here's some ways that we can help with music in schools. And ALL of us should, at some time, offer help and resources. Even the smallest contributions are appreciated by the folks trying to run the music programs:

    • Purchase WHATEVER the band boosters has decided to sell for their fundraising activities. I know some of it is pretty lame but this is how they make the dough for all of the cool things offered and it's a struggle every year to pull this together.
    • Donate anything music related to a local program - old instruments, accessories, sheet music, CD's - anything. Give the local instructor a call and see how excited they can get when folks remember them.
    • Offer technical services to the instructor. If you can repair instruments, offer to do so. If you can work in the music library that is a big help. Anything that can be done to ease the burden these instructors have can help.
    • Go to local band and music programs as often as you can. If the local middle school is having a spring concert - go see it and you'll get a charge out of the enthusiasm these students show. BTW if there's an admission fee - pay double!
    • Become a member of the Band Boosters. These folks are the heart of the logistical crew that gets that band to where they are going efficiently and safely. There is always room for volunteers - especially those with some knowledge music and the desire to see it thrive.

    Bob Gollihur - a TB'er and both an upright and electric player has his own "music in the schools" program that he helps with:

    www.bobgollihur.com

    We all should do our part to help further education and exposure in this very rewarding discipline.
     
  2. I agree 100 % :bassist:
     
  3. Pause

    Pause

    Jun 4, 2003
    Miami, FL
    If it weren't for music in high schools, I have no idea what I'd be. I"m glad that I'm part of the music programs at my school
     
  4. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Amen to that. Honestly, in one of the richer towns in New Jersey, our music program is decrepit. We have three of the most dedicated music teachers I've ever met, all struggling to do what they can with the money they have, working 50-60 hours a week, all to provide us with the best music education possible. For that I'm thankful. First of all, I play in two jazz bands, one on tenor sax, the other on bass. While using the school's tenor sax, two or more people have to share saxes! And to make matters worse, mouthpieces! Sure we have the spray and all, but think of how much time that takes out of rehersals.

    New music? Almost never. New instruments...nope. Our only decent instrument is a Selmer Mark VI Soprano sax in amazing condition that my director has locked up, and I mean LOCKED UP. He's going to sell it in a few years to replace the 40 year old abused tubas. I still can't believe how underfunded music programs are in high school.

    Amen to what Hambone said, and a blessing to all those who help out! I know I spend a lot of free time in the band room and orchestra room to help out where I can.

    And guess who sets up the basses... me :p
     
  5. Ditto...I look forward to taking Guitar class next year.
     
  6. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    i was actually gonna start a thread on this...

    i think music programs in schools are EXTREMELY important. i used to live in New York City and i went through the public schools until i moved here (Rhode Island). im not sure how it is now, but back when i attended the schools had pretty much zero funding for any music activities. Nevertheless we had some very dedicated teachers (as tplyons mentioned in his post) that really went out of their way to help out and teach us. I learned how to play trumpet there, and i walked away with some very valuable skills that helped me to learn bass.

    i encourage everyone to donate and help out in some way. i set up and repair the guitars and basses at my high school when necessary, and i gave a Squier bass to my local middle school here since they didnt even have one. i got alot more satisfication out of giving it to someone who really needed it instead of just getting a few bucks.
     
  7. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    GREAT post. Well said and put.
     
  8. YES! we need all the support we can get in our high school music programs! i have been through 4 years with my school band program, and every year i see the effects of budget cuts. things like us having to use 2 busses when we need 3, not being able to take all the trips we use to, not being able to buy new instruments, etc. this is really a horrible problem, and i hate to think of schools that have had to cut entire music departments. please support us!
     
  9. Pause

    Pause

    Jun 4, 2003
    Miami, FL
    As of last Thursday, I don't even have an orchestra teacher/conductor. The administration was treating him horribly and making it hard for him to do his job, so he's realised that he needed to retire (after 35 years of teaching and enduring cancer, twice).

    I really doubt that we're going to have a real teacher. Even though I go to a performing arts magnet school, I just get this feeling that they're not going to try hard to get a replacement.

    Last week I saw one substitute (the program's lead teacher) conduct the jazz band and it was just horrible. You could see that he was only doing it because he HAD to. Those teachers shouldn't be there.

    Anyway, I'm ranting. Support local school's music programs.

    Brett
     
  10. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    Thank God i go to the school that i do. We just got the donations to get a new Performing Arts Center-the name of it will be The Rohrman Center for Performing Arts. Yes, those in the midwest know this man. He's Bob Rohrman the Car dealer guy. 3.5 Million-the complex will end up costing i forget if it was only 7 million or if it was 14.7 Million for both the Athletic Complex and Arts Center. All of this will be done a year or two after i graduate.

    Our music program could use more money, but we have enough that we have plenty of activities and have competitive bands [e.g. marching band is always in the top 10 @ regionals, Wind Ensemble {# 1 concert band} goes to state nearly yearly}] and our show choirs are some of the best in the nation.

    If it wasn't for music in high school and bass I don't know what I'd be doing. I would probably be a preppy jock [i used to be one].

    So yeah-music has changed my life thanks to school and i owe it all to them.

    SUPPORT SCHOOL MUSIC!!

    That's all
     
  11. I am very lucky to have gone to the high school I did....had a TREMEDOUS music program. My band director (Mr. Thacker) is getting really frustrated with our school board now, as they are cutting the funding to the band (but not choir) program by 50%. Next year, whoever wants to be in the band program will have to "Pay to Play." If you join band, it'll cost you $50 a semester (to help offset the cost for festivals, etc.), which I think is a HUGE mistake. Of course, Pep Band is still going strong, as that would be a more "visual" cutback.

    Without the music program I had, I have no idea what I would be doing. Music is probably the best creative outlet there is. I have never been able to express myself in words better than the lyrics I write.

    To close, I'd like to quote one of my favourite mosives of all time, "Mr. Holland's Opus."

    "Now the day they cut the Football program, well that will be the end of Western Civilization as we know it."
     
  12. The more funding you get depends on the more funding you recieve.

    thats why football is so well funded,because it's a very popular sport.
     
  13. Markdezy

    Markdezy

    Jan 24, 2004
    Atlanta
    I believe that we need to support music programs in school also. Even though I never participated in these such programs, I have many friends who would be alone in the dark without some of the musical programs in schools.
     
  14. The "Pay to Play" concept is alive and well here in Georgia. It costs us over $650 a year just put a band uniform on my son. This figure will rise this year AND next. All this while at the same time, it costs only $250 to play football. The band numbers are dwindling while the football program thrives. It won't be long before the only people attending a football game will be the principal and the referees.
     
  15. TxBass

    TxBass

    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    This is going on all around Austin too...it hasn't reach my school district, but it's probably in the future for our kids. Sad. Here at my school the music teacher and I(I teach PE) do lots of stuff together with the kids---including even forming a little faculty "band" to play for special events....and if little kids see a teacher with a guitar or bass in his/her hands it may influence them to do the same later. It worked for me...
     
  16. tkarter

    tkarter

    Jan 1, 2003
    kansas
    What is the best way to convince them to retain funding for music in schools?

    I agree it is needed. So let's move on to fix it best we can for our kids.

    tk
     
  17. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    luckily in our home town they just opened a music and art maganet school. there is no tuition, just community service hours. but to support as much as i can with the little i have at the moment i bought the dave mathews live in central part cd's and dvd. procedes go to the schools. i wish more artists would do what dave has done and give a nod back to where they came from. all it would take is each artist to do one show like dave did and give all profits to the local schools to get them in better shape. alot of these so called stars need to stop worrying so much abou the next bentley my album sales are helping to fund and put a little back into their community.
     
  18. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    oh btw props to p diddy and the new york marathon too!