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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000682.txt from 2001/05

From: (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] School Board
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 22:00:13 -0400

<><> Roger Garrett wrote:

But......elimination is not the answer.

In order that I understand you, Roger, "elimination" of what? The
link between sports and music? Or the subservience (if it exists,
which it probably doesn't everywhere) of music to sports?

Part of my personal problem is that, until last week, I believed
that band and orchestra classes were offered by our school district. I
happened to ask one person: "Why are music and library taking the hit?
I don't hear anything about the visual arts?"
The reply that I received was: "Oh, visual arts have been funded
for years by the PTA, not by the district. I know that you contribute
a few dollars each year.... that's where much of your contribution goes,
didn't you know that? Some of the music programs at the elementary
level --- it will be another 5 years before this budget problem
'graduates' to the higher grades --- have switched to PTA funding
already because the State doesn't give us enough money to pay for them,
and music+library may finally go this way entirely this year. So music
+ librarians have survived the longest."

This entire topic is foreign territory for me, which is why it's
interesting to hear other people talk about it. But the ultimate
problem appears (to me) to be that (some) schools put music in the
service of other programs, particularly sports, despite the fact that
music is a fundamental part of young people's lives --- TV, CDs,
concerts, dances, etc.
When you start talking about music as a curriculum item, there's
really not much argument that music involves all the skills --- such as
concentration & discipline & cooperation & physical coordination &
thinking 'outside the box' & quantitative relationships (math and
physics) & foreign languages (sheet music) and history and so forth ---
I'm sure you've heard all of this before.
You really can't advocate eliminating music (or librarians) once
you accept them as part of the curriculum. All you can do is argue
about relative importances.
So this is the central issue to me: music is not extra-curricular.
Perhaps driving the entire band to a football game at another school9l
is, but not the instruction. Therefore I step aside when you discuss
with Dee whether playing at football games is 'extra' or 'curricular'.
What counts (imo) is not allowing the core of music education to
disappear from the curriculum itself --- which is precisely what was
threatened in our school district.

I should add that Staff also said: "We think that we can keep music
& librarians this year, but we'll need to discuss this again next year."


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