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Business News (more headlines) 04-19-2014

National Music Organizations Join Voices To Oppose Cuts To VSB Music Programs

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The Coalition for Music Education, Music Canada and MusiCounts believe in the importance of music education for all young people in schools. We are joining our voices together to urge the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to withdraw the proposal to cut elementary band and strings programs. Don't take instruments out of the hands of children. Keep providing a comprehensive education that includes quality music instruction for all students, taught by individuals with a background and training in music. Music is not an expendable area of study. We strongly disagree with any reduction to music in schools and ask - what is the VSB's vision and plan to maintain quality music programs in VSB schools for all students?

Research has proven that music education provides far-reaching benefits to the lives of young Canadians, to our communities and to our culture. We believe that decisions minimizing any aspect of the VSB's music program will have a long-term negative impact on the lives of Vancouver students and on the community.

Music is essential to education and to life.

Music education:

teaches students to think creatively and critically,
develops skills that are essential in the 21st century workforce,
opens students' minds to diverse perspectives and thinking,
bridges languages, cultures and generations,
unites us through shared experiences,
enriches our sense of beauty and imagination, and
supports student success.

The Coalition for Music Education annually celebrates the importance of learning music in our schools through a national event titled Music Monday. Last year's Showcase Concert included a live link with Commander Hadfield in the International Space Station and this year's Showcase will include a special event in Vancouver. "Everybody should be learning music. Music opens doors. And music stimulates the brain. Music helps organize and even wire your brain…Music education is really important in life. It's a wonderful and applicable skill that only makes you a more capable human - We should all learn music." - Chris Hadfield

Music Canada has identified music education as one of five critical components for the development of the music industry in Canada and an essential stimulant for a vibrant music scene which leads to great community impacts including increased tourism, job growth and business investment. " There is vast evidence that music education contributes to the broader development of young minds and more well-rounded citizens," says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada. "Music is a great equalizer, bridging all cultures, and languages."

MusiCounts is helping keep music alive in our schools. MusiCounts has awarded nearly $7 million in grants and scholarships to schools and communities in Canada. MusiCounts' mission is to ensure that children in Canada, regardless of socio-economic circumstances or cultural background, have access to a music program through their school. "Every child deserves the opportunity to experience and benefit from playing an instrument." says Allan Reid, Director, MusiCounts "Music can and does change lives."

We urge decision-makers to maintain elementary band and strings programs in the VSB.

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