Art and music programs go way beyond the palette and piano

When times are tough, the arts get dumped.

Non-core curriculum classes – where testing is not required under NCLB – are always the first to be sacrificed. This mindset is decimating public school art and music programs, their value questioned, their very existence deemed unnecessary and frivolous.

As educators, we know and understand how wrong this view is – how the arts expand horizons, strengthen student focus and build our communities.

Art and music programs go way beyond the palette and piano. The programs encourage students to be innovative and think “outside of the box,” to express themselves creatively and to learn from their mistakes – all highly desirable skills for the future. These are just a few of the remarkable side effects of learning to paint, play the bass guitar or take a beautiful photograph.

In the past year, cuts have caused Yonkers City School District to eliminate all of their instrumental music programs and the majority of their elective art classes. Faculty members and students are fearful that this is only the beginning.

But the teachers and students of Yonkers City School District are not sitting back quietly.

Yonkers art and music teachers, students, Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick and Sarah Lawrence College are presenting a “Keep Art and Music in Yonkers Schools!” concert and art exhibition on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. at Sarah Lawrence College’s Reisinger Hall. This event will feature artwork and performances by students, teachers and a guest performance by the Westchester Symphonic Winds.

Admission is free.

Link to the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=185159078191943.

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