As we’ve discussed before, threatening music and arts programs is a surefire way to jolt public school parents into action. It’s not unusual for a school superintendent or school board looking for a tax increase to ominously predict an end to music and art.
This time, it’s no pantomime to rile up parents.
It’s real. Music is being cut in some systems, including Fulton County.
Here’s a letter from a Fulton middle school student. She asked if I would share it with you:
My name is Rachel Smith, principal (first chair) clarinetist of the Georgia All State band.
I represent our state in its entirety as a musical powerhouse. Clarinet is my passion; I someday aim to be a world-renowned clarinetist and impact society strongly.
I picked up the clarinet in the fourth grade. At the time, it seemed like a whim, but I was unaware that I would practice so much and meet a plethora of people who also do what I love.
The musical experience I have had is a priceless passion that I share with my deepest friends. Additionally, I have straight A’s and a balanced schedule. Music is a door that I have opened at such a young age; I doubt I would have began at all as a sixth grader, due to the adjustment to middle school.
Band is a healthy experience that harvests friendship and undying love. It also is the ultimate team sport; there are no benchwarmers. Band can also keep kids out of trouble as they adjust to the changes in their young lives. The door I have opened is one I will never exit, for I can testify for the everyday miracles by simply playing the instrument I would never leave.
But right now, who has the key? Instrumental music is a powerful and sacred art that must be left alone to strive. Don’t deprive the little kids of their outlets.
If Fulton County slaughters such a feat, what makes it so special from the other counties? Opportunities such as these should not be stolen from tomorrow’s musicians, artists, scientists, doctors, etc. Look at the facts. And save our bands and orchestras, before you annihilate a new generation of artists.
Thank you for your time,
Rachel Smith, 8th grade