Music in Our Schools
March is Music in Our Schools Month, the time of year when music education becomes a focus of schools across the nation. When many school districts are forced to cut funding for music and other performing arts programs, Palos 118 is proud to continue funding these developmentally important programs. According to research, music programs help facilitate learning in other subjects and promotes language development. There is also a link between music and the development of spatial intelligence skills, which helps in multistep problem solving. You would be surprised at the number of highly successful school superintendents that have music backgrounds. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. My music background is limited to learning to play Hot Cross Buns on a recorder in junior high. In fact, my senior year in high school I received all "A"s and "D" on my report card. Can you guess in which class I earned the "D"? Choir.
Although I am not musically inclined, I am proud to say quite a few of our Palos students are musically talented and participate in our many outstanding music programs. We have 150 students participating in our elementary school choirs. 62 students are enrolled in elementary band with additional 151 band members in our middle school band. Approximately 163 students participated in this year's middle school musical, Suessical. Let us not forget the 26 students singing in the Palos South's Performing Arts Ensemble. If you have not had the chance to see our young singers perform, do not miss the next opportunity. It is a thousand times better than sitting at home and watching The Voice!
Music in our schools just does not happen organically. It takes the dedication and support of adults to support budding musicians. Thank you to our elementary music teachers and choir directors Mrs. Wetle and Mrs. Ghera. You cannot help but smile when passing by their classrooms and seeing their enthusiasm for teaching music. Supporting our musicians at both the elementary and middle schools is our district band director Mr. Hansen. Watching the growth of our band members from the beginning to the end of the year is nothing short of amazing. Also contributing to our students' musical talents at Palos South is general music teacher Mrs. Amanda Schuller.
Parent volunteers also play a critical role in supporting music in our schools, and we are extremely fortunate to have an outstanding group of moms leading our Music Parents Association (MPA). Thank you to Melanie Cantorna, President; Karen Lally, Vice President; Patti Faustino, Treasurer; Denise Gritsch, Secretary; and Judy Tran, Communication/PR Representative for a simply amazing year supporting our band and music programs. The MPA sponsored Harvest Fest was a huge hit once again, and I cannot thank our MPA enough for the many months, days, hours and minutes that went into planning, coordinating and running this awesome event.
I hope I did not forget to recognize a group or individual supporting our young musicians and vocalists but with so many outstanding musical opportunities for students, I know it is quite possible I have, so let me apologize in advance to those I've forgotten to mention.
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools