Madison’s Strings Program….. All Quiet?

For my family, one of the unexpected assets of the Madison School District was the Strings Program. Perennially under attack during the Superintendent Rainwater reign, I’ve seen little mention of the District’s String’s program, now available from grades 5 to 12. I only found this snippet on the Madison School District’s website:

Music opportunities continue to expand in Grades 5 through 12. Strings instruction is available to students starting in 5th grade and the curriculum is based on the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Instrumental Music. Students in grades 6 and 7 choose to participate in Band, Chorus, General Music, or Orchestra, which also have curriculum based on the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards. In grades 8-12, students may elect to enroll in one of these classes or the additional elective courses at our high schools. These course in connection with the community musical offerings, provide a breadth of experiences to help build student skills and knowledge of music.

Is there more?

One thought on “Madison’s Strings Program….. All Quiet?”

  1. String instruction has solid participation, beginning in Grade 5. More than 1,100 students in Grade 5 take strings across the District.
    To me, a more significant change in all arts education for the school district is the strength and vision of the current arts administrator – Laurie Fellenz – and the support for the arts from the School Board and Superintendent.
    Through Laurie’s leadership the past two and one-half years as the current arts administrator, she has worked collaboratively with school administrators, teachers, community arts organizations to bring respect and a bit more stability to the arts education curricula and to those who teach this subject area. This is a marked changed from the previous 5 years, and the positives from this change are evident.
    Currently, MMSD is joining with the City of Madison and the Overture Center to apply for a Kennedy Center grant to strengthen K-12 arts education through co-curricular opportunities that build upon the District’s K-12 arts curriculum. And, Laurie is focusing on equity issues across the schools and skill development in the arts for all children that enhances creativity and literacy. Yamaha is funding keyboard labs in the District is another positive change. I really enjoyed seeing student artwork on various billboards across the city.
    While I am concerned about the funding for K-12 arts education and that challenges continue, I am heartened by the vision, work and leadership shown by Laurie Fellenz and all the district’s arts education teachers as well as support from our School Board and our current and previous superintendents. These have been positive steps imho.

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