abc
QUICK LINKS:

Fighting Forte for Music in Duluth Schools

Updated: 02/12/2014 10:16 PM
Created: 02/12/2014 9:24 PM WDIO.com

Duluth Public Schools have a proud history of strong music programs, but some parents and a passionate private instructor feel that is slipping away. They spoke out at the district's community meeting on Wednesday night.

“Music is sometimes considered like the universal language,” Rianna Amberg said.

Amberg is an 8th grader at Holy Rosary, and she's fluent in music after years of clarinet and piano lessons. However, she's headed to Duluth East next year and worries about communicating with students there.

“I'm just wondering if it's going to turn out okay all these different levels of musicians,” Amberg said.

Her mother, Barbi Lee, said she has heard the music program at the Duluth schools is out of tune.

“I don't understand how you can have a band who doesn't have lessons, who don't do group practicing, and like actually be able to put on a concert,” Lee said.

Amberg's private instructor Janna Blomquist said cuts to the district's program have left teachers stretched thin over too many students.

“They can't just be thrown in a room with one band director and say, 'Here, here you go. Teach. Teach all these students.' Because the needs of a percussionist are very different than the needs of a clarinet player,” Blomquist said.

She said that one-on-one lessons have vanished due to the cuts, and teachers do not have time to properly train students on their instruments. Blomquist said students can stay on tempo with a little more help.

“We need to restore some of the personnel that we used to have to get these kids alone at least in a group of clarinets, a group of flutes,” Blomquist said.

She is not alone. Parents and other community members brought up the music program reductions at the district's Think Kids meeting at Lowell Elementary Wednesday night.

Superintendent Bill Gronseth said those concerns and others from meetings held at other schools will be factored into next year's budget.

“As the board continues to meet and talk about the budget and they finalize that budget in March all of this information will be part of those decisions,” Gronseth said.

Blomquist hopes to volunteer at Ordean-East Middle School in the meantime.

The district is looking for comments on any issue as part of the Think Kid's Initiative. If you can't make it to a meeting you can contact the administration online by clicking here.

Front Page

  • Wis. Wolf on Dog Attacks Increase

    Wildlife experts say wolves have killed or seriously injured six dogs in Wisconsin this month.

  • Walker Proposes New Freedoms, 13 Pct. Cut to UW System

    Gov. Scott Walker is proposing a 13 percent cut in state funding for the University of Wisconsin System, at the same time he wants to give all campuses more freedom from state laws.

  • 1 Injured in Beltrami Co. House Explosion

    The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office posted a report of a house explosion on their Facebook page on Monday night. The Sheriff's office says they received multiple 911 calls regarding an explosion in southwestern Beltrami County at 5:35 p.m. Callers said they could also feel a force strong enough to dislodge pictures from walls and rattle windows. 

  • Pilot Safely Rescued after Ditching Cirrus Plane in Sea

    The pilot of a small plane ditched into the sea after running out of fuel 250 miles off Hawaii, but he was safely rescued after officials guided the stricken craft to the area of a cruise ship.

  • 'Option C' Architects Recommend Complete Rebuild of Duluth Public Library

    MSR's report recommends building a completely new facility of roughly the same size at the existing library site. The report estimates the project, known as 'Option C,' will cost $34.7 million. The report says that the overwhelming majority of public responses favored that option. 63 percent voiced support for Option C, while none of the other three options received more than 16 percent.

 
Advertisement