Mar 4, 2007

face the music

I spent the past three days at a national qualifying forensics tournament, hearing sad stories about how regional speech and debate programs are suffering as schools drop classes to fit in more WASL prep.

Thankfully, the Olympia School District still values electives, with robust art, technology, debate, business, and manufacturing programs--and now ranks as a top district for its outstanding music education.

That is, among the top 100 in the country.
The eighth annual survey is sponsored by the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit association working on behalf of the musical instruments and products industry....

The survey also asked districts about how many students continue in music after high school graduation.

That's another area where Olympia shines, said Dan Lundberg, the district's music coordinator and Capital High School's band director.

"We do have a lot of kids who are adults now that are music teachers or that are playing on the side," he said. "They continue with it at some point in their life again."

Lundberg attended Olympia schools and learned to play the trumpet. He has taught in the Olympia School District since 1978 and last year was named Outstanding Music Educator by the Washington Music Educators Association.
Congratulations to Lundberg and the other unheralded music teachers in our district--the work you do changes lives.

Oh, and legislators, while you're staying in Olympia, come and check out Oly or Capital's music offerings, and then see if you can justify pillaging the arts in the name of standards.

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