Friday, November 16, 2012

Arts from Elementary to High School and Beyond

A week of the arts at Hermitage School District, where everyone is so appreciative of the cooperation the administration gives the arts here. They do realize that children learning music, drama, and art adds untold richness to their education, starting in the early years and continuing to their senior year and beyond.
Some school board members attended the Band Banquet on Sunday evening. The principal sent a letter, read by Mr. Garay, the band director. He commended the band for not only their performance, but also their involvement in civic activities, and asked them to invite their friends to join the band. That day after a late night at a football play off game, they marched most likely two miles in a Veteran's Day parade. They will again play for a play off game this Saturday, then march in the Hermitage Light Up parade in the evening. I'm glad the weather will be excellent for them.
The senior class production, Play On, is complicated about a community theater's disastrous rehearsals and  opening night, with almost repeating lines, and quickness in the dialogue. These young adults execute it perfectly.  Because they are playing actors in parts, they switch from American accents to British, in one character and then another. They have been practicing for a couple months with determination. I know I have lived with the director in the play for the past months-hint she's my youngest daughter, who has been a bit difficult to live with. She has been in character, even down to us only having the one car.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I attended a second grade classroom's musical production. My great niece sang and performed instruments with her classroom. My niece stuck at work, couldn't attend. These public displays lay the ground work for what we saw last night and the musical in the spring. They start them early being on stage in front of admittedly at first a very loving audience of moms, dads, little brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and cousins. They are learning to read music, memorize words to songs, and dance, move to music. They also are pretty darn cute.
The Artman also invites the kindergarten to these classroom spectacles on stage, so they learn to be a polite, appreciative and engaged audience. The arts achieve a high standard in the school district.
And to not think it stops when they graduate, I sat with the mother of a boy who graduated in the spring. She had just attended her son's musical at Ohio State University. She remarked how much he has improved because of his training at Hermitage schools. Now that musical is done, he's auditioning for Hairspray, where he will actually get paid to perform.

The beginning of reading music

I'm so appreciative of the school district my children attend. Sure, it has some set backs, but none are perfect. I pay more in taxes here in the city, but look at what we get. Excellent school district, emphasis on the arts, athletics and most importantly, academics. One school board member told me, they try to keep the school taxes down, but in this case, I'm happy to pay because of the return of excellence in the students that starts in the early years and goes beyond high school.
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