I spent periodic time after school with a student interested in music as a college pursuit and suggested asking parents to provide for expert instruction. I also advised that a student going into music would be expected to have better than beginner-level equipment. Father asked me: 1) You’re the music teacher, right? 2) Isn’t that the instrument you told me to buy in 6th grade? No lessons, no improved instrument and no college.
I understand the part about Music Education being about Academic and Music Standards. I get that. But, as a former student of mine who is currently a medical doctor and former school board member says,
“It is about more than JUST music.”
It is also about meeting needs.
I have asked the BPO to consider a “Benevolence Fund” which the directors would have discretion for use to meet needs without having to reveal the beneficiaries. As requested, the topic was tabled until the new officers take over.
You are probably the actively involved parent who would make just about any sacrifice to enhance your child’s success. “Preaching to the choir” comes to mind.
But there are parents we NEVER see, who do NOTHING more than ALLOW the student to be in band… no transportation, no support, no encouragement, and NO MONEY.
Life would be less stressful for directors if we could just deal with what comes in the door freshman year, adjust to all of life’s realities and then play them off at graduation? So why the extra effort?
Because when I was one of five children in a single parent family, my director went to bat for me. He convinced my parents I needed a better instrument. (Ok, I had to earn half…..but I got it.) He found me the best clarinet teacher in the region, who allowed me to “pay” for lessons in yard work rather than cash. They both helped me get to go to summer music camps so that by graduation, college was taken care of….COMPLETELY! I wrote a tribute to Four Influential Men in my life. Read it.
PARENTS…. I want to do that for YOUR child….or SOMEBODY’S child. And I will. But for those things that involve money, I could use your help. Please consider it.
STUDENTS… some day, when you are considering influential people in your life…..I hope to be one of them. And if I am, I say to you….
“Now It Is Your Turn”.