We often wonder, with the way music programs are conceived and organized, if they deserve any attention or money at all.
For example, there is a public elementary school in our neighborhood. Because we know students who go there, we know a little bit about what happens. Here’s the schedule for their school orchestra and band:
Band/Orchestra Monday 5th Grade 11:15 – 11:50 ( 35 minutes)
Band/Orchestra Monday 6th Grade 11:50 – 12:25 ( 35 minutes)
Band/Orchestra Wednesday 5th Grade 11:15 – 11:50 ( 35 minutes)
Band/Orchestra Wednesday 6th Grade 11:50 – 12:25 ( 35 minutes)
Two days a week, 35 minutes each day. Let’s see. Let’s assume that everyone arrives on time (?). There are string players and woodwind players and some brass players and a percussionist or two. All instruments have to be taken out of their cases, some need to be assembled. The students will apply a little cork grease or valve oil or resin. Most will need to be tuned. How much of the 35 minutes does that take?
Now it’s time to rehearse. It’s possible that every student will need to be taught how to play their part. The teacher hopefully is able to play their principal instrument but may have only had a semester learning other instruments. If their principal instrument is violin, they still have to teach the horn players and the woodwind players how to play their part.
Let’s suppose someone came to you with this idea: Let’s get some elementary aged kids together for 35 minutes, two times a week. Make sure that most are beginning players but if we need to we’ll put more experience players with the beginners. Put them with a teacher who has a degree in music ed. and teach them to play and love and appreciate music.
How much money will you invest in that idea? If you’re a taxpayer, you already have.
This Spring, The NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants) published the results of an annual survey to search for communities “whose programs exemplify a strong commitment to music education.” This survey is known as the the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) Survey.
The NAMM Foundation teamed up with the following advisory organizations: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild For Community Arts Education, Yamaha Corporation of America, Young Audiences, National PTA and VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
You can see the list of communities that made the list here: http://www.namm.org/news/press-releases/namm-foundation-record-number-programs-earn-distin
There was not any town or school district in Utah that made it onto this list and there never has been for eight years…
Moms and private music teachers – it’s up to you!
Let us know if we can help.