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A band aid solution

Published on November 13, 2018 11:14AM

Students in 2nd grade learn rhythm with teacher Gwen Lahti • Photo by Sandy Mummey

Students in 2nd grade learn rhythm with teacher Gwen Lahti • Photo by Sandy Mummey

Music education in Lincoln City schools will soon benefit from the fund-raising efforts of a newly formed nonprofit, Music is Instrumental.

The group, chaired by former Siletz Bay Music Festival Executive Director Mark Sanders, aims to continue funding music in schools after a five-year Oregon Community Foundation grant ends in June 2019.

“Everything changed for the better for music education in the fall of 2014, when the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) awarded a ‘Studio to School’ grant to the Lincoln City schools, Siletz Bay Music Festival and the Lincoln City Cultural Center to bring music back into classrooms,” said Christine Tell, coordinator of the OCF grant. “We had not had a 6th grade band in nine or 10 years. Only one of two elementary schools in Lincoln City had any music activities for students.”

Each Lincoln City School now has a full-time music teacher. In addition, principals and music teachers made it a priority to develop a strong music curriculum to guide student learning from kindergarten through 6th grade and beyond.

Taft 7-12 Principal Nick Lupo said figures from the first year of the Studio to Schools project showed that reading and mathematics scores tended to be higher for the 65 students who chose band.

“Knowing that all students could benefit, we required that the next year all 122 students take band in 6th grade,” he said. “It was an easy decision to make to benefit all students.”

“We are determined that the gains realized over five years will not simply end when the grant ends but will continue with the new nonprofit, Music is Instrumental,” said Majalise Tolan, the school district’s administrator for secondary teaching and learning. “Students in music develop their intellectual capability, creativity and self-esteem. They become part of a group and learn important social skills. It is amazing to see students challenge themselves by performing before their families and the community. I have seen students become proud and confident musicians. It is a journey we want all students to have the opportunity to take.”

Donations to Music is Instrumental are tax deductible and can be mailed to PO Box 306, Lincoln City, OR 97367.

The group’s Winterfest fundraiser will be held on Feb. 15 and 16, 2019 at Salishan, with tickets going on sale Saturday, Dec. 15.

For more information, contact Sanders at marksandersmii@gmail.com or 760-992-4175.

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