Oct. 16, 2012 — If you believe in something, you have to find a way to go get it.
A.R. Danes, Janesville School after-school music teacher, took the words right out of my mouth regarding my thoughts about the Save the Music concert at Janesville School, last Monday, Oct. 8.
Featured musicians were Sonia Rao, a contestant from NBC’s The Voice, local fiddler Tallon Sandoval and country singer Hope Nix.
I attended to not only cover the event for the newspaper, but to help support the efforts of those trying to keep after-school music programs alive. Music lessons aren’t for everyone, but I think there are tremendous benefits for children who can take advantage of instrument lessons or have the opportunity to be involved in a school music program.
When county schools were able to offer band classes for middle school-aged children several years ago, I saw many of those students go straight to the high school music program and stay there all four years.
Personally, being in school choir helped me appreciate music more. I started taking piano lessons around age 7 and loathed having to practice half an hour every day. I would torture myself because if I missed a session, I had to make the time up the following day. Sometimes, I would sit at the piano for two hours during the weekend, hating life. Learning to play the piano was a chore to say the least — the big hindrance to playing outdoors, being with my friends or curling up with a book. I begged my parents to let me quit but they said if I did, sports were gone, too.
But joining choir helped me comprehend the reasons behind counting and the functions of the left hand and right hand chords as I followed the alto line. By that time, my piano skills had developed a bit more, and allowed me to branch away from what my teacher assigned. I would buy sheet music of my current favorite songs and would skip ahead in my lesson books to find familiar pieces. I added choir to my elective credit and piano lessons to my extra-curricular activities I heard colleges like to see, and left high school with a love of music thanks to my choir teacher. She listened to all sorts of music from oldies to pop and I loved hearing all of her musical expertise. No, I really don’t play anymore. OK. At all, but even the angst of lessons and what I learned in a school program were invaluable to me.
With promising careers, Sonia Rao and Hope Nix were perfect examples of the benefits of school music programs. I was impressed they would drive to Lassen County, from Los Angeles and Tennessee, to help support the efforts of a small town community because they were passionate about having music in schools.
People of all ages attended, some having no affiliation with Janesville School. They were simply there to support music in schools.
After attending the concert, I called A.R. Danes for some follow-up comments. Although falling short of the goal of raising $5,000, he seemed positive about continuing to fundraise through Christmas with the end result being a big concert at the fairgrounds in June.
He talked about the goal of raising money for self-sufficient programs and when you believe in something you have to find a way to go get it.
Yes, the music was fantastic on Monday, yet I couldn’t help but think of the time and effort that had gone into planning the whole thing.
Events just don’t come together. A lot of behind-the- scenes details have to occur to make things go smoothly booking — the artists, finding them a place to stay, organizing people to provide background music during dinner, preparing and serving the meal, setting up and tearing down and collecting prize giveaways, all for the goal of keeping music in schools.
Great job to all who made the concert a wonderful event and here’s to hoping your efforts will pay off.
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