Drive to deliver sweet music to students |

Drive to deliver sweet music to students

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunThe North Tahoe music programs Fan Club will breathe life into old, dusty and unused musical instruments it hopes to receive at a collection drive on Saturday, May 19, at North Tahoe High School.

The North Tahoe music programs Fan Club will breathe life into old, dusty and unused musical instruments it hopes to receive at a collection drive on Saturday, May 19, at North Tahoe High School. After refurbishing the instruments, the Fan Club plans to equip a new generation of student musicians.Unlike the sixth-grade beginning band class, which gears students toward a long-term commitment, the new high school course is aimed at students who were unable to take music classes in middle school, sometimes because of scheduling conflicts caused by the federal No Child Left Behind program. Theres so many people who say, I wish I learned an instrument, said Dean Nordby, North Tahoe Highs band teacher. Now were giving them the opportunity.A nonprofit parents group dedicated to the music program, the Fan Club intends to rent the donated instruments to students for a nominal fee, allowing them to play music without making a large capital investment.The drive will accept any instrument in any condition, from out-of-tune flutes to shiny brass trumpets, said Julie Younger, a Fan Club member who is organizing the event. Additional drives will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 5 and June 7, before North Tahoes spring concerts.If somebody wants to learn how to play something, they will have something, said Nordby.The band programs enrollment has suffered since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed. [Its] a good line to push, but it affects me and the program, said Nordby. The federal law requires students who are not up to English or math grade levels to take additional courses during elective periods that improves their proficiency, denying students the opportunity to take art, computers or music.The principals have said that we cant get the kids too excited about being in band because we dont know if they can take band, Nordby said.In years past, the only opportunity to learn an instrument and join the band was during sixth grade. The programs classes advance in difficulty each year, making it difficult for students without musical experience to participate. If kids werent in band, it wasnt open to them unless theyve had a lot of private lessons, said Fan Club President Nancy McNair, who teaches at the middle school.North Tahoe Middle Schools declining enrollment hasnt encouraged the music programs growth, either, McNair said.Its very difficult for new families to live here, she said.Music classes are half as full as they were seven years ago, said Nordby.A beginning band class at the high school level is unprecedented, but will offer students another opportunity to join the award-winning program. The student musicians earned seven awards at their most recent competition, including the prestigious esprit de corps award.I think its great for those kids to have [music] and feel that theyre part of a group in a positive way, said the Fan Clubs Younger, adding that performing gives students a sense of pride, beneficial social opportunities, and a well-rounded education.

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