School district playing out of tune

Canceling Grade 6 band sends out the wrong message.

Dear Sir:

A funny thing happened on Nov. 6. While 30 people crammed into Caledonia Senior Secondary School’s lecture theatre to listen to candidates for school trustee, across the parking lot in the REM Lee Theatre, 300-plus people relaxed into an evening of the bands from Skeena Junior Secondary School strutting their musical stuffs.

The audience from the REM Lee left smiling and laughing and humming tunes. I’ll leave it to your imagination regarding the mental state of those who stumbled numbly away from the speechifiers at Cal.

Thus it was hilarious to read that the District Eighty-Two Brain Trust (DEBT) is now ready to take an axe to the band proram in Terrace and in Thornhill. They’re using school reconfiguration as an excuse to prune the number of music teachers in the area back from six to two, and exterminating band for sixth-graders in the process.

I’m not certain what planet DEBT administrators come from but here on Planet Earth the native tongue is music. Infants listen to the melodies and the harmonies (and yes, the dissonances) around them long before they can even start focussing visually. They use sounds to delimit and interpret our world. And way before they figure out that there are lyrics, they establish alikeness with the Big Ones by goo-ing and coo-ing and bawling their little heads off, too.

Words can wait. It’s the music that comes first. And like any language, the time to master it is while you’re still young and absorbent. Our school district already has to bear the ignominy of having consolidated the two schools of Suwilaawks into a single unit by the next expedient of cramming the two populations together.

So what if it meant banishing band into a tin-can trailer in the middle of the playground? See, everything fits. And anything, apparently, goes.

But back to the REM/Cal parking lot. Which group do you suppose went home savouring the dividend on the educational dollar, and thinking, “Hey, our school system does pretty good, even on a shoe-string budget?”

Well, let’s keep that group in the majority – and keep the elementary band programme up and humming.

John How,

Terrace, BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

City of Terrace holds 39th annual Terry Fox Run

Almost $2K was raised towards cancer research

Former college trailers see new life with Kinsmen Club of Terrace

Eight trailers will be used to revive the organization’s youth camp at Lakelse Lake

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture visits Nass Valley

Nisga’a Nation has great potential for Indigenous tourism, says Minister Lisa Beare

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

B.C. Premier John Horgan worried about ‘rise of racism’

Asked to comment on Justin Trudeau’s ‘blackface’ incidents

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

Most Read