Bring the Song to Mountain Song
November 23, 2015
Dear Mountain Song Community,
As you well know, this last six months has been a time of redirection and recalibrating as we have positioned Mountain Song Community School to excel academically, culturally and financially.
While we still have much to do to realize the vision we all share of Mountain Song providing a sacred space for childhood to flourish, I want to tell you we are academically improving as we implement processes to be sure our children are learning on pace. We are, also, now on financially firm footing.
I am coming to you, however, because we cannot provide the full scope of the Waldorf experience and the hopes of our charter without the help of our parents. We want to reinstitute the music program but cannot fully do so without your philanthropic investment.
We need $20,000 for the in-school music program. For just $65 a student, we will be able to have the necessary resources to develop the kind of program our children deserve. This would include securing space for music classes and performances, the purchase of music, music equipment, music instruments and other music resources.
We are happy to have the Mozart Strings Program beginning as an after school component of the music program, but this program will only serve 30-40 students. We would like every student at Mountain Song to receive a quality music education.
We need your help. I am asking you to consider a commensurate commitment – where your passion for giving each child a fully integrated Waldorf education and your ability meet. This is different for each family and I am asking each family to do what you can.
There are many reasons why music education is vital to a well-rounded educational experience. You may have seen one of Sir Ken Robinson’s now famous TED talks on the need for creativity in education. Sir Ken was actually knighted for his work on the integration of arts into education in the UK. In his report to the UK Secretary of Education entitled, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education, he states, “Research in Europe and the United States (Fox & Gardiner 1997) has suggested for example that music education can have a direct effect on improvement in mathematical ability.”
According to Rudolf Steiner, “The human being is a musical being, and the making of music is essential in experiencing what it is to be fully human. Music in the Waldorf curriculum awakens and nurtures the deep inner life of the child.”
I’d like to give an overview of what we have in mind for music program at Mountain Song. The following are excerpts from a report analyzing our current needs in music education in order to fulfill the vision of our charter, the needs of the Colorado Academic Standards and the vital role music education plays in the Waldorf pedagogy in order to develop the goals of Waldorf education.
Both the pure Waldorf Private School approach and Waldorf inspired Charter and Public Schools mandate the integration of the arts into all curricula plus the guided development of artistic skill for all students throughout the grade levels. In addition, the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) for Music Education includes a general music education for all students PK-8 including: 1) expression of music 2) creation of music 3) theory of music and 4) aesthetic valuation of music with opportunities for vocal and instrumental instruction. Beginning in some schools as early as grade 3, (normally in grades 4-5) the schools provide experience and instruction for various ensembles, choir, band and/or orchestra.
From the inception of MSCS, the Music Program was below the recommended standards for both Waldorf and CAS given that it started with 6 grade levels. The founders did an excellent job articulating the Waldorf inspired vision for integrating arts education into the main classroom with the desire to create a curriculum where music and the arts are not secondary but vital to the education of the whole child. However, in reviewing the action plans, the entire Music Program plan was unclear and incomplete… The Curriculum called for introduction of choir, strings, music theory and reading music notation beginning in Fourth Grade… Grades 5 and 6 were supposed to have their own individual voice class or choir, and orchestra. Grades 7-8 would have both a Junior High Orchestra and Choir. None of that is in effect currently.
Our plan is to hire a Music Director who will support classroom teachers by researching and providing new songs, seasonal songs, festival songs, recorder music and training materials and workshops. The Music Director will become a major resource for the classroom teachers as well as provide two music classes per week for each grade, and develop special events like caroling parties and after school or before school assembles. Music programs often fall prey to the budget cuts. I believe that together we can secure and maintain a place for music education at Mountain Song.
To donate, please send a check with “Music Program” in the memo, or click the donate button above.
With your help, we will bring the song to Mountain Song!
Mountain Song Music Program Proposal
Great little video on how learning music benefits the brain and learning
Music Education and the Brain from Anita Collins on Vimeo.