Okay so this post is almost a discussion or a rant post.
Acouple days ago when I woke up and check online for updates, I heard one of the marching bands in my county was cut, completely. I knew this was coming for some of the smaller bands in the county (my band is the largest), and had already happened to one other band. But they are still together and going to play home games instead of away games and have to back out of all competitions. Basically becoming a Pep Band.
As many of you know I live in New Jersey, you would have found that out if you read my interview with Charlotte over at The Book on the Hill (see it here). And due to the recent education budget cuts, schools have sub-come to cutting their music programs, freshman teams, field trips, etc. etc. I know this is the case in many schools around the country. But what upsets me the most is that they are cutting the marching bands, bands that mostly self support there selves through their Band Booster programs. Bands that fund raise for everything they do.
My Marching Band hasn't been effected, having one of the best programs and being largest in the county, and the fact we win more competitions than the football team, has kept us safe. Plus the fact are parents raise the money for the band and pay for are activities. For now we are safe.
My band director told us that nothing has changed in are program. I'm actively involved in almost every band I can be in including Woodwind Ensemble, Marching Band and Concert Band. We have an award winning band and choir at my school and if they dare take away any of my band programs I might just cry or protest or do something. I'm serious I will cry. Band has been my life for 8 years now (I'm actually tearing up now) and is my way to be with my friends and family (I mean I rooked my sister and brother into it). Band means more than anything to me, and the fact they are cutting bands is hitting a nerve.
Band for me is my life. When your a band kid, your friends are mostly all in band. And it becomes your life for 4months or more. Band is what some kids live for. We don't just get classified as Band Geeks for nothing. Band is life and life is important.
There are proven facts that kids involved in Bands, Choirs and Drama Clubs, are better off. Here's a list of some fact from supportmusic.com and their pdf file on the subject:
~Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any group in our society
~High school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than non-musicians in the same school.
~78% of Americans feel learning a musical instrument helps students perform better in other subjects.
~With music in schools, students connect to each other better—greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm
~The College Entrance Examination Board found that students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation.
My thing with this whole crisis, is why are they cutting programs, that help students and kids. Programs that allow students to excel. Please if you want voice your opinions in the comment section.
Theses are some great links to a great organizations that are helping save music education and funds in schools:
Please Voice Your Opinion!
If stuff like this is happening in your school programs I'd like to hear what your doing to save it.
Just remember this is the case of bands around me, and I'm only trying to spread the word about what is happening to the programs in New Jersey. I don't live in other states so I don't know whats happening there. Were all having economic trouble now, but doing this doesn't seem fair.