SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Patricia Henderson

310-450-8338, Ext. 287

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 25, 200

MCKINLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PILOTS NEW MUSIC PROGRAM

Wendy Wax, principal, McKinley Elementary School, along with fourth and fifth grade teachers, volunteered to look at a different way of delivering elementary instrumental music to students at McKinley School. Together, these teachers and their District instrumental music teachers, Christine Limb and Bruce Tellier, have worked to develop a program that would encourage all the fourth grade students to try their hands at playing a musical instrument.

The pilot program began at McKinley in September 2000. All fourth grade students spent two weeks trying out the different instruments and then selected the instrument they prefer to play this year. A grant from the California Arts Council provided funds for instrument rentals for every McKinley fourth grade student and for their classroom teachers. The classes have been divided into strings and brass instruments or strings and woodwinds.

The school and District believe that music is essential for all students. This pilot affords the opportunity for all fourth grade students at a developmentally appropriate level to learn to play an instrument. Students who might not have volunteered to participate in the instrumental music program will play an instrument for at least one year. At the end of the year, the number of students who continue will determine the success of the program. If there is an increase in the percentage of students who continue, over last year' s percentage, we will know at least one measure of success for this pilot. Another measure of success will be the enthusiasm of the participating students. That enthusiasm is already apparent.

For further information, contact Patricia Henderson, SMMUSD Coordinator of Music Programs, 310-450-8338, ext. 287.




Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

1651 16th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 • 310-450-8338 • fax 310-581-1138 • www.smmusd.org