School Matters • 03-07-11 | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 02 March 2011 15:52


By Leslie Irwin
8th Grade, Canyon Middle School

A weekly column focused on the impact of school district budget cuts on the students sponsored by Save Our Schools Castro Valley! ( and local businesses.


Schools are a big part of the Castro Valley community. Children go there Monday through Friday, and many adults rely on schools for a job. The music program faces cuts every year due to the budget crisis.  This is very unfortunate because music is an important part of a child’s development.

Music has been shown to improve math skills as well as reading skills.  Counting beats and following measures helps elementary school students develop their math abilities. A study in the journal ‘Nature’ found that groups of first graders given music instruction, emphasizing sequential skill development and rhythm and pitch, received drastically higher scores in math than students receiving no musical instruction.

Another study published in the journal ‘Psychology of Music’ found that children exposed to a multi-year program of music training involving rhythm and tone skills, showed advanced performance in reading abilities compared to children with no musical training.

Some say music is not really necessary for students and just provides a fun extracurricular activity. While music is fun, it also promotes math and reading skills as well as the freedom of expression. Being able to sing in an environment where they won’t be judged on talent, but on participation and determination to learn the music, is essential to early mental, psychological, and personal growth. Music brings children together and helps them interact with one another.

The music program at Castro Valley elementary schools is important in many forms of child development for many reasons.  Music has been shown to increase core subject abilities and promote expression.  Music has already been cut from fourth grade, and cutting it from any other grade would only hurt the Castro Valley children as well as the community.  Keep music in Castro Valley Schools.

Save Our Schools Castro Valley! is committed to preserving and building upon the excellence that we have in our fine school district. It will take community donations for Castro Valley to save what we have and continue to move forwards and not backwards. Go to to donate and make an impact on your community!



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