Here is an unsolicited letter to a local arts provider from a parent whose child attends school in an Arts for All district, shared here from the Culver City Education Foundation. The mom writes of how a music lesson about the blues lifted her daughter’s spirits. The lesson she refers to was funded in part by Arts for All’s Residency Grant Program.
“My daughter just completed your 2nd grade Symphonic Jazz Orchestra program. I want to pass on something that happened, which, in my opinion, shows the value of your program to the students in her school.
Our family is going through rough times right now. Some days I feel like my daughter gets what is going on and other days, when she is crying and asking when is her father coming home, I realize she does not get it and she is suffering. Well, we had one of those crying spells earlier this week. After we had gotten to the other side of the episode I re-grouped and gave her a big hug and told her that I was so glad that she is able to tell me her feelings. Her response was “My music teacher told me that when you have the blues you have to tell someone” (not should, or can, but HAVE TO). Well I almost burst in to tears I was so moved by what she said. I responded that what she had been told was right and told her that she can write a song about how she feels. She reminded me that she had written a song in her class with you. She started to get excited about the idea of writing a song so I took her in to our music room and sat down with a guitar and tried to make up a blues song. I sang “My name is – and I got the blues” a few times and then I sang “But I’m happy because….” and let her help me fill in the line. She just lit up and was so excited. She went running in to her room to look for the right notebook to write songs in and started jabbering about how she can come up with the beat, I can come up with the words, etc. etc. Clearly the pain she had been feeling was lifted.
I must admit that she had mentioned she was taking a music class but I had not received any description from her of the depth and breadth of the curriculum. I was blown away at the musicality of the students at the year-end assembly. Putting the music part of your program aside, the life skill insight that you provided to my daughter is priceless; do not keep your feelings inside and have a least one person you can trust with what you are feeling, wow – what a gift! I feel blessed that my child wants to share her blues with me!”
The National Endowment for the Arts has just announced that the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra was awarded one of only 1,057 arts grants this funding cycle. We are honored by this award – a $10,000 matching grant that will support the orchestra’s concert program for next year.