The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Education 2011

February 26, 2011

Music plays an important tune in education

ENID — Thousands of Enid Public Schools students are enriched each day through the district’s music program, but are those students affected by budgetary woes as public education is dealing with cuts in funding?

“Yes and no,” said Robert Anderson, Enid High School band director, department head and secondary music coordinator. “Our school is still very supportive. They try to give us everything they can.”

However, there have been cuts — the music program received a 60-percent reduction in funding along with other areas such as athletics and competitive speech.

That cuts deep into contest fees, instrument repairs and sheet music purchases, Anderson said.

“What we’re having to do different right now is we are having to use more fundraiser money and booster money,” he said.

Anderson also said department personnel are doing their own repairs when possible and using sheet music already on file.

“We’re making due with the materials we have,” Anderson said.

The district provides instruments for students to use if they do not have their own, and those are the instruments which require maintenance by the district, he said.

“We have a lot of kids that use school instruments,” he said. “It’s becoming more and more prevalent because of the cost of instruments.”

Music is part of elementary education, and the music department on the elementary level is facing the same cuts. On the middle and high school levels music courses are elective but music credits are required.

“There are studies that (show) students in music score higher in math and science on the ACTs,” said Anderson. “(With music) you learn to think a whole different way. It makes you a well-rounded person.”

Anderson said all elective school courses help the students to become well-rounded, and courses from band to choir and drama to athletics enhance the minds of students.

Even with the cuts, Anderson said he believes the music department still is fortunate.

“We have a great administration, he said. “The cuts they made they feel are necessary. Enid, in general, is an arts town.”

Anderson said Tri-State Musical festival is one way Enid continues to show its appreciation for music and young musicians.

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Education 2011
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