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Elementary school music update

By Daniel Barabasi
Published: April 2011
For the Music Department, recent cuts have hit hard, especially on the elementary school level. Fourth grade chorus and third grade recorder programs are being eliminated.
Along with cuts there are increases in fees like $200 for elementary instrumental music and a new $200 fee for All-City Band and Chorus groups.
South’s music department is mainly dependent on enrollment, so many smaller groups such, as music technology, are first to be cut or are forced to run less blocks. Due to the cuts in elementary school music programs, however, South spots troubles in the future. “What we are going to see is a reduction in the number and quality of musicians in the future,” Fine and Performing Arts Departments Head Jeff Knoedler said.
“When cuts start at the elementary school level it magnifies the effect that it has on the high school music program,” Music teacher Jason Squinobal said. When you cut the students’ first experience, like the recorder class, students start to learn to play later and they start to learn to play in a group together.”
The cuts in music will also bleed into the enrollment of classes like music theory, “Students will not be as interested in learning music theory as they won’t have the experience of what it is like to talk about reading music, playing scales, or learning theory at that third grade level,” Squinobal said.
Often due to a smaller priority assigned to the arts in comparison to other departments, the fine and performing arts have a tradition of being the first to feel the effect of negative changes in the school budget.
“It seems like arts in general is deemed less important than what people call the big five academic departments, English, History, Science, Math and World Language. When you place a higher priority on the big five, the arts become more expendable and are cut first,” Squinobal said.
Lisa Linde worries for future students. “I think all of Newton’s performing groups, which includes about twenty percent of our school, and around 50% of middle school students, will feel the heat in the next ten to fifteen years,” she said.

For the Music Department, recent cuts have hit hard, especially on the elementary school level. Fourth grade chorus and third grade recorder programs are being eliminated. Along with cuts there are increases in fees like $200 for elementary instrumental music and a new $200 fee for All-City Band and Chorus groups.South’s music department is mainly dependent on enrollment, so many smaller groups such, as music technology, are first to be cut or are forced to run less blocks. Due to the cuts in elementary school music programs, however, South spots troubles in the future. “What we are going to see is a reduction in the number and quality of musicians in the future,” Fine and Performing Arts Departments Head Jeff Knoedler said.“When cuts start at the elementary school level it magnifies the effect that it has on the high school music program,” Music teacher Jason Squinobal said. When you cut the students’ first experience, like the recorder class, students start to learn to play later and they start to learn to play in a group together.”The cuts in music will also bleed into the enrollment of classes like music theory, “Students will not be as interested in learning music theory as they won’t have the experience of what it is like to talk about reading music, playing scales, or learning theory at that third grade level,” Squinobal said.Often due to a smaller priority assigned to the arts in comparison to other departments, the fine and performing arts have a tradition of being the first to feel the effect of negative changes in the school budget. “It seems like arts in general is deemed less important than what people call the big five academic departments, English, History, Science, Math and World Language. When you place a higher priority on the big five, the arts become more expendable and are cut first,” Squinobal said.Lisa Linde worries for future students. “I think all of Newton’s performing groups, which includes about twenty percent of our school, and around 50% of middle school students, will feel the heat in the next ten to fifteen years,” she said.

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