Mary Anne Fairlie: Don’t compromise music education
April 6, 2016
I am writing as a musician, music educator and parent of a graduated band member. I am concerned that restructuring efforts will result in a vastly different quality of music education in Steamboat Springs.
I know that in the past, re-structuring efforts in Colorado have led to turning full-time music positions into 7/8 positions, to relegating band and orchestra programs to before- or after-school programs that died due to attrition and to combining choir, band and orchestra programs through one teacher, which, again, reduced quality and eventually affected enrollment, thereby decimating programs.
The proposed change to a before- or after-school band here in Steamboat will not only compromise the program but also could result in its eventual demise.
My son is a product of the Steamboat Springs High School band program. Now an adult, he plays in his church every Sunday, at Friday art walks and the swing band that regularly performs at community dances and at the Fourth of July downtown block party. His music education has not only enriched his quality of life but also significantly benefits the community's culture at large.
The strength of arts in a community is a measure of its cultural values, and these benefits weave through the very fabric that supports the soul of our community. Music education is the breath of life for the quality of our schools and community; let's not let it suffocate.
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