SAVE MUSIC at ADDISON
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MUSIC • STANDS • ALONE
Discipline. Creativity. Aesthetic Development. Not to mention the confidence, sense of poise and belonging to something greater than yourself. Music is an experience of the arts not replicated in any other subject or extracurricular activity.
Music students frequently blossom into confident young people who are unafraid to speak up, speak out and share the gifts they've been given. It's rare that other teachers see their students blossom and change like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, over a period of 4-6 years or more. Imagine the growth in character that comes from the relationship building that occurs with the consistent mentoring of an expert teacher.
Music frequently is the inspiration for young people to do well in school, to want to go at all. To belong. "Striving for the Highest" in a performance far out ways the excitement of getting pumped for high stakes testing. Gradually removing the arts will not create better students, quite the opposite actually.
Cutting all-inclusive musical opportunities for our young people to explore self and be empowered to change is not a great choice when thinking about the future of Addison, New York, and our country as a whole.
The window of time for a child's apptitude for language and musical development ends at age 10. Children should have many opportunities to listen, create, play and experience music and language. Music is called the universal language for a reason, it's universal and can bridge cultural divides. It brings together humans and it doesn't matter if you're rich, poor, orange, purple, special needs, etc. All benefit from music! Music creates a common ground.
Ponder for a moment, life with out music. Radio, movies, TV, theater, dance... Then ponder cultural expression. A life without music is hard to understand or even conceptualize. Creative expression through music brings an aesthetic experience found only in the arts.
What about future composers, musicians and the like? There are quite a number of Addison Knights who went on to a successful career performing and teaching music to other young people all the way to Idaho, Virginia, Alabama and beyond. Choices made now, effect others beyond the borders of Addison, NY. Beyond our scope of understanding.
A dynamic musician, exceptional artist and fluent second language speaker isn't created over night. It's years of study, YEARS of consistent study developing their craft with an expert teacher specializing in music education. A career in music requires that you have developed a high level of ability on your instrument or voice over a number of years. Music is a life long skill and ACS students should have the skills to be accepted into a music college should they choose that for themselves.
The quality of general music instruction by general classroom teachers at the elementary level is an unacceptable option. The difference is that a general education classroom teacher takes one class in "Music Appreciation" during their 4 year degree. Singing in tune isn't likely required and certainly would not have prevented them from receiving their degree. If they can't sing in tune then how can they model and teach correct singing strategies, music theory and ear training development? If they themselves aren't confident in their skills, how can they pass it along to children. You will end up with a class of sudo-shouting children and a slow disintegration of the excellence in musical performance that ACS has become known for. Putting a music book in front of a child and playing a cd isn't a quality music education. Children need to sing, play, move, listen, create, and express themselves through music.
•We understand that music is mandated by the state of New York for k-6 and half a year in 7th or 8th.
•We understand that band and chorus can be used to fill the requirements in grades 7th and 8th only.
•We understand that currently 7th grade general music at ACS receives 90 days of instruction a year which meets the standards.
•Currently, 6th grade general music students gets 50 days of instruction which is one marking period.
•Currently, Grades k-5 receive 36 classes a year or once a week for 30 minutes. The country average is 30-45 minutes for a weekly music lesson. As well as 30-45 minutes for a performing ensemble for students in 3-5.
•Currently, Middle school chorus/band meets 2-3 times a week but the students are shared with other subjects/classes except one day.
•We understand that these middle school performing ensembles only come together as a group/team once a week. The same for Senior High but they get 2 full rehearsals a week.
We, the members of the Addison community, parents, students and alumni both near and far...
Petition to have the Addison HS Vocal Director/Teacher position be reinstated as a full time position with a qualified degreed music educator who specializes in vocal performance for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond.
Splitting this position between two current music teachers, while cutting 6th grade general music and cutting the 3rd grade chorus is not the quality music education experience that we want for our current and future children of Addison Central Schools. We ask that NY state recommendations and requirements be met in providing our children a music education they deserve. Reinstate 6th grade general music and provide more, not less, musical opportunities for our students in K-12.
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