Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another Case of "Noteworthy" Education

I can never write enough about the importance of music in the schools. At a time when standardized tests are the rule rather than the exception and people are always talking about getting back to the "basics," such a list far too seldom includes the arts. So I wanted to share a great editorial by Dallas Symphony president Fred Bronstein about the orchestra's outreach program. Here's a sample:
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a long-standing commitment to exposing children throughout our community to music. From youth concerts that bring close to 50,000 young people each year through the doors of the Meyerson Symphony Center to ensemble visits in schools, the DSO is working to create inspired citizens of tomorrow while building a love of music that will fill our halls with music lovers for years to come.

One terrific example of music's life-changing ability as articulated in the DSO's mission "To Entertain, Inspire and Change Lives through Musical Excellence" is our ground-breaking Young Strings program. Young Strings has become a national model that identifies gifted young African-American and Hispanic students and provides them with instruments and lessons with the goal of increasing the diversity of our performers in the classical music world as well as in our audiences.

Children who received their start in this program have gone on to graduate from schools like Julliard and Yale.
Keep up the great work, folks. And as I've said a few times already in recent months, we music educators must remain vigilant to help Those In Power understand that any "basic" course of education must include music and the other fine arts...period, end of story.

Bad behavior, Level 1: A Wisconsin fire marshal was forced to resign after he admitted to contacting psychic readers from his computer at work on government time.

Bad behavior, Level 2: A Connecticut man is in trouble with the law after he installed a small camera in a bottle of shampoo so he could watch his female roommates showering.

Bad behavior, Level 3: A Brazilian woman was convicted of murder for killing her husband, chopping him up into tiny pieces and frying him in a pan.

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