Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WIS/BHS Instrumental Music Program

As parents we all want our children to benefit from all aspects of their education, this means academically, socially, emotionally. Let’s talk Music.... Music touches our children in so many special ways. It is a fact that children involved in music in an academic setting do better academically, socially and emotionally.

Music is the one constant in life that helps us all dream a little, smile a little, sing a little, and dance a little. It brings all children of different ethnic backgrounds, financial status and social status together. These are all facts.

But for some reason The Branford Board of Education and The Superintendant feel different on these facts. We have had a decline in the Instrumental Music Department by 80% within the last few years and it doesn’t seem to bother them. I have diligently been trying for two years to break through to them the horrifying situation we have with this program and if it continues, all I can guarantee is there will be no instrumental music program in Branford. For two years the answer I recieve with a smile is "we are looking into this", "we cant discuss personnel issues with you". Thanks for the answers!

We currently have 7 kids in the BHS Orchestra and 15 kids in the BHS Band. The odd thing is that there are always a tremendous amount of kids in the WIS Orchestra and Band but they all seem to quit in high school. Why? Does anyone in the Board of Education care? NO… Because if they did they would consider asking the question, WHY?

For starters, We have a Instrumental Music Director who is also the Orchestra teacher but he can not play a string instrument. Now, it could be me but I see a bit of a problem with that. Especially when we had two (not one!) VERY talented individuals teaching at WIS and are probably considered the two best violin players in the state of Connecticut. However, they were replaced, one after the other for “budget” reasons, with the Music Director from the high school who again, HELLO…. Can’t play a string instrument. This means, it is near impossible to teach someone to play a string instrument properly. Isn’t anyone paying attention to this? Again, NO...

Let’s talk about the band at BHS. Why are we the ONLY band on the shoreline that does not have uniforms? It’s embarrassing and humiliating not only to the kids in the band but to the town. I have offered to head up fundraising for the specific reason of earning money for uniforms and was told, NO by the Music Director because he doesn’t have the time. All I can say is WOW to that one. Why would anyone want a proactive parent start a booster club to do fundraising to earn money for our children and their benefit? hmmmm...

Has anyone asked the kids that have quit either Orchestra or Band in the last couple of years … why? I think they should start… maybe they would be surprised at why.

Music… its everywhere… in our cars, at our work, in our homes, on our iPods, as our ringtones, but unfortunately its starting not to be in the Branford School System. Food for thought, don’t you think?