Amherst, Mass., Elementary School Instrumental Program sign now

PETITION TO PRESERVE
THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
INSTRUMENTAL PROGRAMS

Amherst, MA

We the undersigned urge the Amherst School Committee to preserve the Amherst public elementary schools' instrumental programs. We are cognizant that dire times require dire cuts, but we are resolved that the music program should be saved for the following reasons:

EDUCATION. Music education plays a FUNDAMENTAL role in children's basic education, contributing in countless positive, formative ways to the development of:

--cognitive skills
--mathematical abilities
--social skills
--small and large group work skills
--self discipline
--cultural awareness
--listening skills
--a capacity to engage in slow diligent work toward a future goal

EQUITY. The elimination of the elementary programs, available free of cost to ALL students, will disproportionately affect the underprivileged who may not be in a position to fund private lessons. We consider this a SIGNIFICANT social justice issue.

FUTURE PROGRAMS. If the music programs are cut at the elementary level, before long the Middle School and High School programs will also be cut for lack of trained, prepared, motivated students to participate.

PRIDE. The music programs have long been a source of pride in Amherst, and have produced many successful professional musicians.

EARLY INITIATION. It is well documented that early development of musical skills is essential for the development of professional musicianship. In eliminating the program we limit this option for our students.

REPUTATION. The music programs have long made the Amherst public schools stand out among other public school systems. This reputation draws families into the district and gives our students an advantage in the college admissions process.

RETENTION AND FINANCE. The elimination of this program will have a detrimental impact in the district's ability to retain students who might otherwise opt for other school choice and charter options. This will result in continued financial drain for the district.

COLLATERAL LOSSES. The amount saved through the elimination of the elementary school program does not warrant the collateral losses associated with discontinuation.

RE-START COSTS. The cost of starting up the music programs again at some future date will be PROHIBITIVE: this decision is a one-way road.

CREATIVITY AND SUCCESS. Like all of the arts, music provides children with creative and emotional outlets, and thereby has invaluable psychological benefits that help sustain students' abilities to be productive in school and thus save resources in staff time and school funds.

CULTURE. There is a profound, inherent value in teaching children from an early age to play musical instruments and to read and appreciate music.

We therefore respectfully urge you, the Amherst School Committee, to save the elementary school instrumental programs, for the good of our children and our community.

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Goal
150 / 1000

Latest Signatures

  • 25 December 2015150. Leigh S
    Instrument lessons increase MCAS test scores by 57 points on Math - a lot on verbal, too. We're the top 100 in the country! We can't lose this program, we just can't. If it must be cut SOME, let's chat about that, look at other money saving options like l
  • 16 December 2015149. Aubinwoodr
    Why is it that it seems that the children are being sacrificed again? Music is importatnt because it helps give children rounded education. My biggest question is why is the music program being cut and not the athletic propgam?
  • 13 December 2015148. Peter L
    My two children benefited from the instrumental and vocal music programs of the Amherst/Pelham schools. Music commanded a commitment from them and gave them a community of like-minded friends. My daughter is now a professional musician and my son still pl
  • 09 December 2015147. Taryn L
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 2015146. Daniel M
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2015145. Matthew B
    the arts are critical to education
  • 12 November 2015144. Kathleen B
    I support this petition
  • 01 November 2015143. William M
    I support this petition
  • 31 October 2015142. Jeff P
    We too would consider increased fees to keep the program going. This program has been fundamental to our son's well-being and sense of belonging at Wildwood
  • 23 October 2015141. Peter S
    Music is a key aspect of life
  • 23 October 2015140. Valerie V
    I support this petition
  • 19 October 2015139. Joseph H
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 2015138. Edith H
    I support this petition
  • 07 October 2015137. David M
    The educational loss of the entire program is disproportional to the savings in dollars.
  • 07 October 2015136. Ben S
    Significant educational, equity, social justice, and policy issues exist in relation to the proposed elimination of instrumental music at the elementary level. Though the economics of today pose very real and significant challenges, I urge all citizens an
  • 23 September 2015135. David H
    I support this petition
  • 15 September 2015134. Andrea D
    When my daughter was in first grade and already studying violin privately, her friend came over and looked longingly at it and asked to give it a try. She clearly was taken with it, and said then, "I want to play the violin." I knew this child didn't have
  • 27 August 2015133. Peter B
    I support this petition
  • 25 August 2015132. Amy C
    As a parent of three budding musicians (one of whom has already appreciated the advantages of a school-based music program) and as a teacher in the Amherst schools, I wholeheartedly agree with the views presented in the petition and urge you to support th
  • 21 August 2015131. Cynthia Al
    I support this petition
  • 16 August 2015130. Jessemie Mcpherson
    Band Rocks!!!!!
  • 08 August 2015129. Charles K
    I support this petition
  • 06 August 2015128. Sharmila M
    I support this petition
  • 22 July 2015127. Ray P
    My children have benefited enormously from the music programs at Wildwood. Cutting music education would be a grave mistake in my opinion.
  • 01 July 2015126. Reed P
    I strongly agree with the petition. I have seen the long-term negative consequences of such cuts to music programs in other districts, and I cannot stress enough that once a district heads down this path, there is usually no turning back. Elimination of e
  • 28 June 2015125. Dorie G
    I support this petition
  • 16 June 2015124. Roger G
    I support this petition

browse all the signatures

Information

Myrtle AguilarBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Amherst, Mass., School Committee

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