The world may be celebrating Bach's 300th anniversary this year, but here in Palos Verdes our school board has voted to scrap the elementary instrumental music program for next year.
We're told that cutting out music will save $80,000, but the district has found another $130,000 to paint two intermediate schools this summer. Thus the school walls will have a clean, fresh look for a few years, while in no more than three years the sounds of budding musicians will no longer be heard in the classrooms.
In addition to being one of life's great joys, music provides discipline and training for young minds. Did you know that the same type of mental skills and abilities are involved in learning music and math?
Music instruction is also an important source of rewards, personal satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment for many elementary school children. By participating in the program--which includes performing before student audiences--the children develop self-confidence and a wide variety of personal skills that carry over into other aspects of their education and lives.
We should remember also that elementary music programs are the beginning of the training that leads to the award-winning high school bands and orchestras in which we as a community have taken great pride. Concerts, band shows, musicals, Youth on Parade and holiday performances are only a few of the many musical activities that add to the quality of life on the hill. Some of our students go on to pursue careers in music and many others become supporters and patrons of the performing arts.
If the school district does not have the resources to continue our musical heritage, then it is up to the residents to provide the financial support that is needed. A contribution of $100 from each of the 400 families with children receiving elementary instrumental music instruction would provide $40,000 toward the goal of saving this important program from oblivion.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Friends of School Music, 30331 Cartier Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes 90274, or please call 541-2025 for further information.
MYRNA M. AHMED
Palos Verdes Estates
The music program, along with elementary science resource courses, was eliminated when Palos Verdes Peninsula school trustees tentatively adopted a new budget June 17. Twelve non-teaching positions also were cut to offset a projected deficit.