Elementary class is music to our ears

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

A budget must be balanced. Whether it’s your home, work or government, when things don’t add up something is wrong and cuts must be made.

A few years ago, Clanton Elementary School’s music program was a victim of such a cut. Schools must teach the three Rs, and when money gets tight, unfortunately, the arts are sometimes the first place cuts are made.

That’s why we are excited that CES will once again be able to offer music this fall. Beyond that, the school will also be able to add a second art teacher to its staff. Plans are to hopefully add a second part-time music teacher when a counselor retires in October.

It’s important that students are exposed to art and music at an early age. Study after study has shown that students who are taught music, art, drama and such do better academically in other subjects than those who aren’t.

Without such programs, students aren’t as well-rounded as they should be. As art teacher Julie Harrison said her students could very well grow up to be the next Beethoven, Picasso, Astaire, but only if their interest in the arts is nurtured, fostered and allowed to grow.

By being a Title 1 school, CES receives federal funding for staff, programs and supplies. Some of this money is being used to bring music back and expand art.

Harrison said other than band Clanton students don’t have the opportunity to take art and music at later grade levels. Hopefully one day, the school system will be able to add more performing and visual art classes to every school.