I'm sharing my remarks from Thursday's concert of Oakland Mills Middle Schools bands and strings today. Why? Well, because budget season is upon us in the Howard County Schools, and last year it resulted in a loss of 25 per cent of elementary art and music instructional time in selected elementary schools. Think it couldn't happen to yours? Last week the Superintendent announced an increase of World Language teachers and expansion of some elements of the Model Schools program.
I strongly recommend that you pay attention to the budget process.
Good evening. I'm here tonight as the OMMS representative to Howard County Parents for School Music, which is the official advocacy group for music. education in Howard County. You can like us on Facebook, you can follow us on Twitter (HoCoMusParents; @hcpsm) and you can come to our next meeting, which is this Monday, January 13th at The East Columbia Branch library, at 7:00 pm. I want to invite you to attend if you want to learn more about how we are supporting music in our schools.
One of the things we'll be working on is preparing for our Echo Project instrument collection Day. Which will be held on January 31, 2015, from 9 - 4pm, at Mt. Hebron High School during the MS & HS Solo & Ensemble Festival. If you or anyone to know has an instrument that is no longer being used, they can donate them to the Echo Project and HCPSM will make sure that the instruments go to schools where there is the most need. The goal of the ECHO Project is to increase opportunity for participation in music.
One more thing. We're all here tonight because we believe in the power of music as a vital part of our child's education. We believe because we see the benefits: we see how music sparks energy and enthusiasm, we see how music fosters creativity and collaboration, we watch as our children develop self-discipline and perseverance, and we know that the self-confidence evident in the music classroom overflows into other classrooms and beyond. So tonight I want to stop and thank the music professionals at Oakland Mills Middle School who give so much to our children and to our entire school community: Mrs. Castrillon, Mr. Green, and Mr. Konick. Thanks for everything you do.
Oh, and another thing: when was the last time you thanked a music teacher?