SUPPORT THE ARTS IN YOUR SCHOOL!

Even if you do not have children in schools at this time (like me who is a Gramma) it is vitally important that everyone in a school district support the Arts, i.e. music programs, art, drama and anything else that falls under the general category of THE ARTS.
Too much emphasis has always been put on the idol worship of SPORTS…football, basketball (number 1 and 2 among adults who need to live through young people in gyms and on fields….plus volleyball and soccer and baseball and softball and track and cross country.
Our local paper is almost nothing but the glorification of school sports with multiple pages of sports pictures and write ups..but guess what? There is NO coverage of concerts or plays or art events in the school. NOT IMPORTANT is the message in that medium.
A week ago I attended a band concert by junior high students and the senior high concert band. I was delighted to find out that one of the former band /music teachers at our school was there as a guest conductor. He went on to teach and conduct at one of the large MN state universities when he left our school…and has since become a world famous teacher and conductor and adjudicator plus an author of a book.
We always knew he was going far and we were so grateful for the time we had him here to teach our students. He elevated the level of the local music program to a before-unknown height with winning performances in a national concert band competition in Denver in 1981.
He pleaded with that night’s the audience of parents and other supporters of THE ARTS in public schools to make certain that there would be no cut-backs in music, drama and art. Those programs are for the life- long learner and not just for a select few that play on sports teams and then usually fade away until they become hometown boosters who live thru other teenager’s sports’ careers. It is a sad sight to behold when that happens.
I attended a concert tonight at Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo where the son of good friends is an accomplished young violin player and orchestra member. To see and hear the young people at the grades 6, 7, and 8 orchestra levels play was a marvelous musical experience.
Their obvious self discipline learned from their teachers— and their pleasure in being able to play in an orchestral group was inspiring.
The level of skill and musicianship increased from grade 6 to 7 to 8 ..the sound was a joyous one in the group that is called the Crystal Strings…a group that is chosen by try-outs for membership. That alone (a tryout) is a wonderfully fulfilling experience for young musicians and an inspiration to keep on improving through practice and hard work.
I heard of several other concerts tonight in other schools–one in West Fargo and one in an outlying district in Cass County. How wonderful that so far, schools have kept their music and drama and arts programs alive and well and parents and others strongly support the young musicians, actors and artists.
May it never end!!!! May it only grow and flourish!!!
Keep a watch out for any proposed “cuts’ in such good programs in your local schools….students need them to learn to perform, to excel, to work co-operatively with other students and their teachers and to know the joy of making a beautiful “product” whether it be a concert, a solo, a drama or comedy play performance or a fine painting, drawing or piece of sculpture.

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