The time has come to restore our classroom music program for all of our Fairfield-Suisun School District elementary schools.
We had a thriving music program in our district four years ago. We were forced to close down this important part of our children’s education due to budge reductions at the state level. Thanks to the improving state economy, more funding will be coming to all school districts. Our school board must decide if they are going to keep the promises made by the previous board to restore the programs that had to be cut “as soon as funds are available.”
California’s new educational issue is called Common Core Standards. These standards apply to all areas of education, including music and other fine arts. You will find in the information available on the California Department of Education website that music is indeed a mandated subject. This means that it will soon be included in the new state tests to check on student progress in learning at all grade levels tested.
The interesting shift in education will be that the children will now have to think “critically and creatively,” which has not been happening with the forced emphasis for teachers to “teach to the test.” Learning of music gives both “critical and creative thinking skills” and will increase the children’s learning in other areas as well.
Restoring the classroom music program brings with it the added joy of restoring the physical education program. Both programs were taught during “release time,” which gave elementary classroom teachers time each day to do preparation during the school day. It also takes away their need to prepare for teaching P.E. and music, allowing them to focus on other core academic areas.
Music For Our Children is a group that helps everyone realize the importance of music education. Remember, every little bit of assistance makes a difference. If you would like to be a part of helping this nonprofit organization restore music education for our children, please call 422-0313.
Joan Gaut, president
Music For Our Children