Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proposed MISD Orchestra Program

Mansfield ISD Trustees will hear a proposal to launch an orchestra program at their regular meeting Tuesday, November 17, 2009. The program would launch in the fifth grade by the following schedule:

2010-2011: A fifth grade pre-orchestra rotation is added
2011-2012: A sixth grade beginning orchestra is formed at each intermediate school
2012-2013: Middle school orchestras are established
2014-2015: High school orchestras are introduced at each high school
2017-2018: Fifth - Twelfth grade orchestra classes and programs are in full implementation

Initially, this program would require the district to hire three string teachers for the 2010-2011 school year. By the 2014-2015 school year, approximately 12 additional string teachers will need to be hired to staff the programs. In some cases, string teachers will be used as itinerate teachers, which means they are shared between different campuses. Other initial costs being considered are the costs of any instruments and instrument storage.

Please let us know your opinion on the proposed orchestra program in the comments below.

(Photo: November 5-6, 2009, the Arlington Symphony performed for the Mansfield ISD fourth grade students.)

135 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a fantastic addition to the arts program for the district!

Anonymous said...

I think starting an orchestra program is great! I have done orchestra actually for awhile, but when I moved to Mansfield I had to stop. I just wish there were Orchestra programs right now. I am a 9th grader and wish they would start the prgrams this year or at least next year.

Anonymous said...

Where, oh where, would the money for this program come from?

Anonymous said...

And, wouldn't this program cannibalize money, time and people from our band programs?

Anonymous said...

im just sad i wont be able to see it before i graduate. = /

Anonymous said...

Absolutely include an orchestra program. Our students shouldn't be denied any opportunity to explore a potential new path for them. Hire the necessary teachers and bring on the music.
How delightful.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this is happening in the district. I have been wondering why Orchestra is not offered to MISD students. Other districts around the DFW area have offered Orchestra for years.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an excellent idea.

Anonymous said...

It is about time MISD rose to the same level of fine arts as Grand Prairie, Arlington, Fort Worth and other area schools. A school district is not just judged by their awesome football stadium, but by their other programs, too. It is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

I think it is wonderful idea. I teach in the school district and would love to see more fine arts opportunities for our students.

Anonymous said...

I wish i was younger so I could be apart of this awesome program!

Anonymous said...

Why didnt the board think of this earlier!! when we moved to mansfield, my cousin made 2 hours of my life misrable because of the fact that mansfield didnt offer orcestra!!

Anonymous said...

the board should have thought of this earlier!!

Anonymous said...

i think this is a wonderful idea! however, money will be an issue. performing arts money seems to get cut out faster than athletics. it may be smart to find sponsors. there will be plenty of kid's if you start early enough. most of the kids in MISD band have not played a string instrument. they have not gone into any fine arts programs.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is a brilliant idea. Of course, many band/athletic parents will not support this very readily, but programs such as this deserve just as much recognition and appreciation as the already established programs garner.

Anonymous said...

Terrific idea! My friend's daughter has been playing violin since elementary school in Garland ISD. We need this!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great. we moved to mansfield from Arlington. Both my sons played the violin, could not play when we came here to mansfield. the both graduate now but had to take private lessons during high school and jr. high, It would be great to have it here, It is grat for the children. My boys still play!!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see any mention of facilities cost. Current MISD music programs at the intermediate and middle schools are forced to use portables for adequate rehearsal space. Surrounding districts have dedicated rehearsal spaces at their campuses to accomodate their orchestra programs. Is MISD willing to invest the needed funds to BUILD additional classrooms? You can't fit an orchestra in a portable.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful opportunity for our children. The Mansfield district is behind others in the DFW area that have been offering orchestra for years, and I'm thrilled to at the possibility we will be moving forward. Fine arts programs are critical to our students' full education, and should always be viewed as additive, not as "cannibalizing" existing programs.

Anonymous said...

I believe this is a great idea! I came from the Arlington school district growing up and played in the orchestra. I learned many valuable lessons being in the orchestra program starting in the fifth grade. Please think about this and bring it to the district! I think it is terrible that the students have not had this opportunity before now.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately, it will not effect my students, but it is a wonderful opportunity for others.

Anonymous said...

I think this idea is great and will help MISD recognition among other districts. I just wish that this program was established early for it was always my dream to be in a orchestra... or that it was established before I graduate... :(

Anonymous said...

Where would all the orchestra classrooms be? Even brand new buildings were built with the intent of only housing band and choir in the fine arts wings of the schools.

Anonymous said...

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes! A hundred times over!

Communications Department said...

Thanks for all of the feedback. A couple of points:

1) The personnel, facility and capital outlay requirements for an orchestra program will be addressed during the presentation section of the November 17 School Board meeting.

2) It is much easier to comment back or reply to other comments if you use your name instead of going with the 'Anonymous' option.

Anonymous could be a wonderfully large group of concerned district community members willing to give thier valued opinions or just a few people with lots of time on their hands. I hope it's the former, but it's hard to tell.

Thanks again.

- Richie Escovedo
Director of Media & Communications

Anonymous said...

I think this is what our school district needed to keep up with our growing reputation, that Mansfield is one of the best school districts around. The opportunities for the students who participate in this program to come is worth all the hassles and challenges to start this. I wish I could have been able to see this before I graduate.

LHSstudent12 said...

I think this is what our school district needed to keep up with our growing reputation, that Mansfield is one of the best school districts around. The opportunities for the students who participate in this program to come is worth all the hassles and challenges to start this. I wish I could have been able to see this before I graduate.

Erin McEwen said...

As a senior, I'd like to say that I would have loved the opportunity to participate in an orchestra program. Since many other districts have had orchestra for years, growing up in MISD has made me feel cheated. Orchestra is a wonderful opportunity that's important to a lot of kids. Please add it!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I always hated that in order to be in band you had to do marching. Orchestra is a fantastic idea!

Renee Ickes said...

A wonderful idea! I was only able to perform in band in middle school and high school, but had the opportunity to perform with an All Region orchestra, and orchestra in college. I would love for my children to have the opportunity to learn a string instrument. Even playing a wind instrument in an orchestra is a different and challenging experience. I would support the creation of an orchestra program.

Andrew said...

"And, wouldn't this program cannibalize money, time and people from our band programs?"

Arlington manages to afford them, and they don't tax as much, or have high-def tv's in every classroom, or build new stadiums every five years. I think MISD can handle it. Plus I think it should be up to the students to choose between marching and playing concert music. Having to march just so you can play an instrument is unnecassary. Dixon proposed ideas similar to this years ago and they shot it down. Why don't they just have a Ben Barber orchestra program, where the top group can be composed of all of the best players in Mansfield. It would be amazing, and it would possibly double the number of mansfield players who make region and state.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of an Orchestra Club at Mansfield High School and I go to Timberview HS, it's really hard for me to get to MHS from THS every wednesday after school because I need rides and stuff and my parents won't let me ride with students. I really hope this program is developed earlier it's great great great way to learn music and to be involved at your school

Anonymous said...

I think the orchestra would be great. It will develop some higher thinking skills. Many students in Asia already must learn an orrchestra instrument from an early age. We should also expand the foreign language program into the lower grades adding Arabic, Chinese,and Japanese.

Anonymous said...

Adding an Orchestra to Mansfield would be a wonderful addition to a great school district! I look forward to when my children are in fifth grade and older and can begin orchestra!

Anonymous said...

My child has been begging me for string lessons and I thought it would not be a good idea since Mansfield had no string program. We are elated!

Paul Barton said...

I think an orchestra program would be a great addition. Let me just say that. I have many concerns about wether or not we are getting what we pay for from our schools at this point. I am not disappointed but i feel that the focus is moving to growing and havein the biggest and best of things and programs. As i say this i am recalling the amount of money that I have "donated" to the school in the form of school supplies that turn into community property. The fact that I have to take my kid to the Winston school for a pre AP science "requirement". The fact that I have filled out the same emergency contact form for each child every yearthat they have been in school. We have grown at such an alarming rate and we are still growing and that is what it is but maybe, just maybe, like the replacement of Willie Pigg, we should look into improving and upgrading existing programs and administration within the district that will make an immediate impact on the overall cost of the district before incurring even more.

Anonymous said...

I am all for an orchestra. For years, I've been hoping MISD would add the program. It would be awesome if we can actually get this to pass!

Anonymous said...

YES!!! Mansfield needs an orchestra program. I was shocked when my kids started in a Mansfield ISD school that orchestra was not an option. I am so excited that you are now considering it.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher in the district and a former band student in MISD as well, I think this is an excellent idea. The Fine Arts Department would greatly benefit from this addition to curriculum. Concerns of the cost come into question, though. Already, MISD spends a magnamimous amount on frivilous additions to the district. If we could stop focusing on being "bigger and better" each and every year by building new schools and stadiums and buildings, but instead upgrade existing programs I feel as if MISD as a whole would benefit more. Adding strings into our already amazing band program ditrict-wide would be one of those sensible upgrades and not a frivilous expenditure.

Elementary Music Teacher said...

I've always wondered why MISD has never had an orchestra program but glad to see that it may be implemented soon. As an elementary music teacher I often get asked, by students and parents, why we don't offer orchestra. We take Gr. 4 to see a Symphony concert every year and most of the symphony is made up mostly of string instruments. Students are very curious about those instruments so hopefully this will round out the Fine Arts Department and bring more recognition to MISD.

Anonymous said...

I hope the teacher who says it won't "effect" his/her students doesn't teach grammar/spelling in this district. It WILL AFFECT your students. It will affect ALL students. Money has to come from somewhere so somebody's budget will get cut.

Anonymous said...

What is the purpose of saving all of that money if you can not bring in essential programs such as orchestra, academic UIL competitions at ALL secondary levels, karate, etc... ? Nearby school districts have these programs already. I just hope that the movement towards the development of fine arts programs in the future of MISD get the same emphasize, resources and respect as the athletics programs. It's about time!!!

Anonymous said...

This would be a great addition. My son started playing string bass 5th grade in Arlington ISD. We moved to MISD when he was in the 6th grade because I believed MISD was a better district. I didn't do my homework well enough, because after moving I discovered MISD did not have a fine arts program that included orchestra. I was shock and really appalled that the middle schools had elaborate gyms with their own treadmills but did not have an orchestra. Unfortunately for my son he missed out on all the great things playing and learning a musical instrument provides (he did not join the band), he will be graduating this year.

Kevin Dodge said...

As a teacher in the district and a former orchestra student, I think this proposed addition is long overdue. An orchestra program at the aforementioned grade levels is every bit as justifiable as band. They both accomplish the same educational goals.
I do believe that a high school orchestra program can only succeed if a strong foundation is laid at the lower grade levels. It takes a dedicated teacher and administration to allow an orchestra program to flourish beyond the middle school years.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a much needed program in MISD. For many years they have been one of the largest districts in the metroplex without an orchestra program. I am so glad that you are finally considering this program!

Anonymous said...

I think that it is very needed. There are many students that cannot excell at band but would be very well matched to an orchestra environment. Think of teh concerts we could have if they combined their talents. There would be so many wonderful opportunities.

Anonymous said...

I think this will affect marching band during the fall or football season. It's ok for afterward, but it will affect the numbers of people in band.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an awesome idea, just wish it could be started in the high school sooner than the five year plan. Like the Ben Barber Idea.

Anonymous said...

Please, OH PLEASE, get orchestra off the ground. I'm a teacher here in the district and I took orchestra from junior high through high school and loved it! My children are coming up in MISD and I'm excited to know that there only musical options won't be limited to band. Praise the Lord!

Anonymous said...

While the initiative to establish an orchestra program is laudable, I believe that the district should concentrate its efforts, first of all, on improving teaching and learning in other key areas. For example, reduce the student/teacher ratio. I am a teacher at an MISD high school and I have classes with over 30 students. That's even with some teachers in our department teaching an extra block to reduce the ratio (at the beginning of the year I had nearly 40 in one class!). It is a no-brainer that with fewer students in the classroom teachers will be empowered to spend more time with individual students and thus learning will improve; the logical consequence is that grades will improve. So, in my opinion, the district should concentrate first on hiring more teachers.
Second, the current infrastructure at all campuses needs to be improved, namely in the area of technology. At our campus, we lack a modern computer lab. The ones we have have 30 computers (which means we are 4-5 short every time we take a class to the labs) and have very old computers in them, which translates into frustrating class time when trying to do web-based activities. Not even teachers have modern computers in our classrooms; it takes about 5-6 minutes for my computer to boot. Besides, MISD should invest in more multimedia projectors (at least one for every department) and provide smartboards in all classrooms. This technology would enable us to do a better job of gaining and retaining students' attention, while allowing us to use time more efficiently.
I know that having an orchestra program sounds magnificent and I am not opposed to it, but I believe that right now it would be a better investment to address more basic needs.

Cynthia Nealis said...

I think having an orchestra will be fantastic. I have a number of elementary music students who want to play orchestra instruments instead of band instruments. Thank you for considering this. I know my students will be thrilled to be part of the fine arts program in Mansfield.

Anonymous said...

I am happy that such a program is proposed to be implemented in our school system but am disappointed that it did not come sooner. I do however support any decisions made in favor of this program.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't this kill our choir and bank programs? They are both so strong, I am afraid this would cause them to both lose momentum and go down in their numbers.

Anonymous said...

I think this is awesome. It will be great to bring another program to our students that gives them opportunities and another place to plug in... I have often wondered why we didnt have Orchestra already.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a fabulous idea. My children went to Arlington ISD prior to moving to Mansfield and were in the orchestra program there. They had to quit their orchestra education due to MISD not having the program. I wish the district would've started the program sooner since my children won't get this opportunity because they will be graduating before the program will be in full implentation, but I am glad the future generations will have an opportunity to enjoy being in the orchestra program as my children did.

Anonymous said...

Yes Yes Yes. I moved to this area about 10 years ago and asked about orchestra for my son. It is too late for him but how awesome the future. Of course Band and choir should stay. Growing up I was involved in Orchestra (violin) started playing in 4th grade, choir and band (flags).My grades did not suffer at all, I was a AB honor roll student.

Anonymous said...

I would love for my children's schools to give my children everything but were would the money come from??? It is already hard enough to find the money for the exsisting band programs. Will the "string" students buy/rent their own instruments like I have had to for my children???

Trevor Castleman said...

I think this is an excellent idea. However, cost is a problem string instruments are very expensive. I think that whomever said that we should focus more on exsisting programs rather than buildings and more schools is completely correct. I'd love, as a member of the Band at summit, to see a string program in the district.

Travis K. Moore said...

I think that this a great idea!!! Great job MISD.
This is a wonderful place to work.

Anonymous said...

Great Idea and fully supported. We should go for it. It will be awesome for the children.

tdtreude said...

Orchestra would be a wonderful addition to MISD's extra-curricular program options. There are a few concerns, though. Cost of instruments is obvious, but what about storage options? Logistically I'd think that would be a big issue. I like Andrew's idea of having it @ Ben Barber. It could be a combined orchestra to begin with, until each school is large enough to support their own.

As a band parent, I'm wondering how significant of an impact this will have on the band, with kids who play instruments that could fit in both the fall marching/spring concert season & orchestra arenas?

Also, I'm concerned about spending $$ on additional programs, when there are core subject areas that need major improvement, such as math.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrific idea. For far too long students have only had the choice of band and have suffered due to the monopoly which band owns over the fine art intersts of the musically inclined students. We should do what is in the best interest for our students and allow them the option to pursue what they are passionate about, or atleast give them the opportunity to discover if orchestra is for them.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! What a great opportunity for the children of Mansfield! Fine Arts is a very important aspect in each of our lives. Learning how to play an instrument, read rhythms, sing in solfege, are all such higher level learning skills. I taught in Arlington and saw how the stings program enriched our community. Please give us the same opportunity for our children!

Anonymous said...

Since none of the buildings are set up for an orchestra where will the classes be taught?

Communications Department said...

The personnel, facility and capital outlay requirements for the proposed orchestra program was addressed at the November 17 School Board meeting. From the presentation:

"Short-term facility needs could be utilized for the fifth grade Pre-orchestra classes
through any available classroom space on the intermediate school campus. Once the
beginning string program begins in the 2011 – 2012 academic year, four of the six
intermediate schools have two band halls and a choir room. At least initially, the string
program could share rehearsal space with the existing band and choir programs." There
are potential facility issues at Mary Orr and Cross Timbers Intermediate Schools due to the absence of a second band hall and/or choir room.

Thank you again to all for the thoughts on this program. Again, it is much easier to comment back or reply to other comments if you use your name instead of going with the 'Anonymous' option.

Anonymous comments could mean we have a large group of people in the community willing to share thoughtful opinions -OR- just a handful of people with lots of extra time on their hands. It's kind of hard to tell. Just a thought.

Thanks again.

- Richie Escovedo
Director of Media & Communications

Anonymous said...

Having moved to MISD in 04', I was very sad to learn there was no orchestra program. My daughters were in the orchestra for Arlington, and having to give that up was very hard and disappointing, it would be nice if there was a way for the students who were in the orchestra in the past be given a chance to resume playing their instruments again, even if they are in high school.

Anonymous said...

I am very excited that Mansfield is FINALLY thinking of implementing Orchestra into their Fine Arts Dept. As a parent, I wish it would have been offered years ago. My kids are not atheletes and band really wasn't their cup of tea either - but Orchestra would have fit right in.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see this being added, when we moved here from Arlington my daughter was very disappointed she would no longer have the opportunity to play and learn the violin anymore. It broke my heart when we had to return it to the rental store but MISD was a better choice for us academically. She will be graduated long before it begins but orchestra is great and it only adds to the school, never does it take away from band!

Kelly said...

This is an AMAZING idea. Not only would it expand our musical basis, but it would provide our kids more opportunity. I've been waiting for this for a long time.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely needed. A student is much more likely to continue playing an orchestra instrument than playing football or basketball or dance line as he/she grows older. There is also research to show that students who play a musical instrument have better grades. We should be looking at lifetime goals, not just what is popular in schools.

Anonymous said...

I am highly in favor of a strings program. It would enhance our school district both internally and externally. Let's do it!

Anonymous said...

Man..I miss orchestra.. I took it for two years but I moved here and had to stop. I havent played for two years. I am a 9th grader. I wish they would start this,year,too,or maybe next year. I really MISS playing. I asked quite a few people at my school, and they said they would like to have an orchestra also.

Anonymous said...

i wish it had been done sooner...my junior and senior have been begging for this for years.

Anonymous said...

Its about time!!!! I think this is a wonderful thing and could only benefit the schools and snd students. A definite win-win !!!!

Diane Stamper said...

We have a son in the 7th grade who started playing violin in a great orchestra program in Arlington ISD. We didn't know there wasn't an orchestra program at MISD, or we might have moved somewhere different. He will definitely join, if it starts being offered here. He's taking private lessons on his own now.

Our son did not join the band, because he's interested in the violin, not other instruments. There really isn't much competition with band members, because few instruments are used in both. I was in band throughout my school age years, and there never seemed to be any detrimental effect to the band from having orchestra at my schools. Perhaps there could be collaboration for a few of the band instruments needed by the orchestra to be played by band members during special concerts.

The idea to combine resources and hold orchestra classes at Ben Barber is a good one, until the program grows enough to fill an orchestra at individual schools.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a wonderful ideal to introduce children at a young age to the arts. Most children who start with a background in music tend to excel
in other areas of life.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE determine a way to help the Middle school kids of today have STRINGS. My son recently moved from AISD to MISD and the lack of Orchestra is the one thing he misses the most!

Anonymous said...

Our family absolutely 100% FOR this Proposed MISD Orchestra Program.
Mansfield ISD Trustees would be wise to launch the orchestra program at their regular meeting Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

Anonymous said...

It's been talked about for years! Even tried to get a patition going to start this earlier! We are so excited! Mansfield has the funds to start the kids off right!

Anonymous said...

Is offering a ton of mediocre programs better than offering quite a few GREAT programs?

Anonymous said...

Please find a way to start the program this year or next. My daughter plays cello and its difficult because there is no program available for her.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Mansfield is doing this but why cant they also offer this for high school in 2012 like the intermediate and middle schools?!!! I just don't think its fair for the high schoolers that are to be entering in 2012 to ONLY have the choice of marching band while other kids in high school from other districts have the option of marching band OR orchestra right now.:(

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised to find that the Mansfield ISD was without an orchestra program when I was hired on as a teacher. I participated in orchestra while growing up in the Richardson ISD and loved every minute of it. By all means, the MISD should establish an orchestra program.

Anonymous said...

Orchestra is a symbol of excellence for any school district. It is a great start for students exploring the creative path and it expands the minds of children. Also, it is a vehicle for college scholarships...VOTE YES!!

Anonymous said...

I think an Orchestra program for the schools would be great!!! Some kids may prefer to play the strings rather than play an instrument in band. I dont know why Orchestra wasn't introduced to Mansfield schools a long time ago....

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful idea. I was very surprised that orchestra wasn't offered in the MISD.

Anonymous said...

An Orchestra program would be nice, why didn't they think of this sooner? But what MISD really needs is individual wrestling teams!

Anonymous said...

As a violinist and high school student, this announcement made me extremely happy. Unfortunately, I won't get to see it before I graduate. If the high school orchestra program were launched next year, there would be students who already play string instruments ready to join. Anyway, it is still very wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I took orchestra beginning in the 3rd grade. I was all-city orchestra in the 8th grade. I was disappointed that it was not an option in Mansfield. I have been fortunate to attend the Ft. Worth Symphony recently, and am so pleased that Mansfield ISD might be contributing to the orchestra in the future!

Anonymous said...

I think it is a GREAT idea! :]

Anonymous said...

Its about time! As one of the financially better off districts in the area, I have not understood why we didn't have an Orchestra program in place long ago. My husband teaches Orchestra in Arlington, but my kids go to Mansfield. We would have loved to have given our children the same opportunity that his students have had.

Anonymous said...

They should try to do high schools first and do lessons for beginners for some people this is their dream but they don't have the cash to do it

Anonymous said...

I was really surprised to find that the Mansfield ISD was without an orchestra program, when we moved into the district. My grandaughterhas been taking violin for some time and we are so happy to see that she will be able to play at school! We support this decision!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Andrew. Establishing an Orchestra at Ben Barber for Determined and committed students. Would be a great opportunity for Mansfield ISD Stellar Students to Shine. Still Adding Orchestra to the Schools. Think Bigger.. BASS HALL....

Anonymous said...

I am totally for it!! My kids had to quit their string instraments due to the fact MISD does NOT have strings instraments! I so hated that. No they hate their band instrament and are in colorguard which is not a BAD thing but they where very good at their violin and loved it! Oh sad. :-( I do hope you will do this so others will not give up things they love just because our school ditrict has not kept up with their programing. This should have been done as Mansfield grew!

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea - we have some superior talent in MISD and our students need every opportunity available. My kids will have graduated high school by the time this plan is implemented but I think our district is the best in Tarrant County!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful idea! When I moved to Mansfield in the 7th grade I was disappointed that Orchestra was not offered since where I came from I had been taking lessons for 2 years. I learned to play the violin and the cello very well and wound up having to give it up because it wasn't offered in school. I am very excited that my now 4th grader will possibly have this opportunity next year!

Anonymous said...

Will it not make the band program decline?

Anonymous said...

I think it's great. The more opprotunities we can offer our students in any area is a good thing. Especially when the demand is there, it is great that we are going to begin to meet that need.

Kristy Minor
MHS- Teacher

Anonymous said...

The marching part of band is the reason my children will no longer participate in the MISD band program. This is great for the students who simply want to play music as an elective. It is a shame that it is not happening earlier for the high school students.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Idea & Long overdue!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous!!! You have all of our support. I really love my children playing a musical instrument and having an Orchestra gives them an option. Please incorporate this as soon as possible. My oldest child is in 7th grade now and I will love for him to have the option to part of the Orchestra program.

Anonymous said...

if this is added will that mean more money for the music department cause we do need more money. Im tried of the athletic dept. getting all the money. They also need to add more classes about music. We only have music theory and if you wanna go that area for a job, dont you need to know more?

Marin Gradel said...

Of course this had to start in my senior year T_T I've had to spend thousands on private lessons this would be AMAZING for future kids!

Anonymous said...

I was in the arlington elementary orchestra and i absolutly loved it!! it is a wonderful experience. i started in 5th grade but moved to mansfield in 6th. but i have a special teacher i see every tuesday.. but i would love for it to b in skools. im in 7th grade and very advanced on the cello. I HOPE WE GET IT!!! all support!

Communications Department said...

First off, thank you to all who have provided thoughtful comments regarding this proposal.

Additionally, I want to address a recurring question/complaint about why we are considering starting the orchestra program in the 5th grade as opposed to opening it up across the board for students.

Here is what Director of Fine Arts, Russ Sanders, had to say on the subject:

"The orchestra proposal is structured to begin the string program at the intermediate school level and then 'grow' the program up through the middle school grades until it reaches each of the high school campuses. The development of the various skills necessary to provide students with the ability to successfully perform a musical instrument at the high school level requires several years of training. The most appropriate level to begin that training in order to provide the students with the greatest opportunity for success would be at the intermediate school.

We have considered the possibility of offering an after-school extracurricular club for existing string students that may be on the HS campuses. Should the school board elect to add an orchestra program as one of the Fine Arts offerings in the District this next year and we begin looking for string teachers later this spring, we will review this aspect of the program."

Anonymous said...

I think that a strings program is a great idea, but I also think that more money could be invested in our elementary music programs! It sems that most of the money goes to Band, Choir, etc, and while I understand the rationale, I think that the elementary programs could use more budget money. Not every campus has the same budget, with some being Title 1, therefore not all progams are able to buy the things they need. So, if there's going to be more put into the budget for Strings, add some for elementary music, as well!

Terrina said...

I think it is a great idea. I currently have my son taking private lessons because the lessons for viola are currently not available at his school. It would make my life much easier to have him at the school taking lessons and on my pocket book as well. I am glad they are considering this and I support it 100%.

Anonymous said...

I think the district would be better served focusing on education and class size. As great as MISD is, there appears to be a continued increase in class sizes and a decrease in test scores. Eventually, at the rate we are going, academic achievement will be a joke. I was in band through college and understand the value in these programs. However, as a parent, I am alarmed at the class sizes that the kids have after they get out of elementary school. Why doesn't the trustees spend more money on additional teachers so that class size is smaller. We need to be focused on increasing the quality of education prior to expanding programs. The trustees have already committed the taxpayers to maintain a $39 million performing arts center. I am sure, compared with other facilities in the metroplex, the recurring maintenance/operating costs will be at least $1 million a year. How are we going to pay for that? Bottom line, all these new buildings are nice and it would be great to have additional programs such as orchestra. However, EDUCATION and COLLEGE PREPARATION should be job number 1. Continuing to balance the budget each year by increasing the class sizes is the wrong thing to do. When is someone in the administration going to acknowledge that this practice needs to stop and ask Lou Spiegel to stop balancing the budget this way? Am I the only parent that is disappointed each year when the test scores come out and our high schools are barely acceptable? Is anybody addressing this?? So, please put down the checkbook and realize that money needs to be spent on education (Reading, Writing, Math, Science) before any additional programs are set up to utilize precious tax dollars. We need to be focused on getting the majority of our schools, including high schools, to be recognized as Exemplary. Having a school district that is recognized as one of the best academic schools, with low teacher to student ratios should be priority one. Please don't make the same mistake as you did with approving a $39 million performing arts center that was probably the most fiscally irresponsible things that has happened. In my humble opinion, I find it hard to believe the bid on the 5th high school was that much lower than projection. I think the amount originally put on the bond was increased to have extra money for a pet project like the performing arts center. That money should have been used to rebuild the oldest elementary schools in the district and eliminate the need for portable class rooms through out the district. It really isn't portable anymore if the buildings have been there for 10 plus years. The district should be ashamed of the condition of Tarver Rendon Elementary. It is a complete rat trap. If you decide to proceed with the orchestra program, where exactly is the funding going to come from? Are you raising taxes, increasing class size, or eliminating some other program? Stop spending money on new buildings and new programs and get back to basics. I guaranty you that if you reduced the class size down, and have better teacher/student ratios, the students will get more out of their educational experience and be better prepared for college and adult life. Thanks for your attention.

Anonymous said...

There isn't enough room in our already built schools. You can't fit a Cello in a tuba locker. It's going to require a another whole room because I know with band, it's already crowded. Maybe with the future schools you should offer orchestra, but not with our already built schools. No ones going to want to share space with another rival program.

Anonymous said...

Other districts have offered orchestra for years. We need to tap into our students talents early by the time they get out of our schools it will be too late for many of them to learn an important skill for many careers.

Anonymous said...

My inital comment did not go through...I was saying before I hit the post button that we cannot wait for this program to be implemented because by the time our child completes school at T.J.E. the program will be in full motion. We are very excited!

@ Communications Dept. I agree that with stringed instruments you have to start earlier around the 5th grade in order to have skilled players & performances by the 12th grade.My relative began playing violin through the Claremont School of Music by 5th grade. The earlier the better. Let's give the young one's a chance also: )

Debbie Clark said...

Orchestra programs produce better educated and more rounded students. It is a proven fact that children who study an instrument are better thought processors that those who did not. Mansfield should offer a strings program for all schools.

Anonymous said...

My children have been in Orchestra since the 5th grade, and they LOVED it. One played the Cello and the other Viola. Practice at night was heaven sent! Yeah Mansfield for getting an Orchestra, it is about time!

Anonymous said...

Great. Mansfield really needs it to be seen as a option to the Dallas and Fort Worth schools. An Orchestra would be fantastic, we considered leaving Mansfield for the lack of such. This program would also provide another path for students to reach college. We fully support it and would be willing to work to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

I think ya'll should add it nxt semester because i would like to do orchestra before i go to college.

Anonymous said...

I know there are many students in the district who already play orchestral instruments and would love to participate in such a program. It would be wonderful if there could be an after-school, district-wide orchestra for those older students who would like to participate but will always be a year or two older than the scheduled introduction grades.

Carlene said...

I am a private voice teacher and theatrical director who has studied "brain patterning" since 1960! I incorporate it into the voice instruction with the physiological explanation to the students. They all understand and improve quickly, regardless of age. How much more are brain patterns activated from taking piano and then an orchestral instrument from an early age! Then we will see strong mathmaticians and scientists abounding in Texas and the USA!

Anonymous said...

Not only as an employee, but a former MISD band student I am glad Mansfield is Finally talking about an orchestra program. Other districts that our students compete with at the high school level have had orchestra programs for years and years. I have always felt bad for the students who played string instruments who weren't able to participate in band because we didn't have a place for them. Cheers to MISD for thinking of the kids.

Anonymous said...

I teach in the district and didn't realize there wasn't an orchestra program. Unbelievable. I 100% believe there should be an orchestra program in the district. As a former band/orchestra member myself I feel like all kids should have the opportunity to be a part of such a program. Not to mention the research which directly correlates fine arts involvment such as band and orchestra with high grades and test scores.

Anonymous said...

I do NOT think an orchestra program would be good idea.
we barely have enough funds for marching band and concert season for band, why should we take away money AND PEOPLE from the band program?
No one realizes how many people you need to make a normal band work. please reconsider adding this as an addition for all those who actually are in band.

Anonymous said...

Before asking for input from people on whether or not they want a new program, I believe the administration should clearly layout how they plan to fund such a program. I believe many people who have previously agreed that this is a good idea would change their mind if they knew their taxes were going up, class sizes were increasing, or another program was being cut to pay for this program. Asking for someones opinion on a new program without laying out the cost is irresponsibile. It's like asking your 16 year old child if they want a new Corvette when you know you can't afford to pay for it.

There is only so much money. Your primary responsibility is to educate our kids. We need a plan to reduce class size and increase test scores and subject matter retention.

I agree that kids in band, choir, and orchestra programs generally have better grades. However, I think you need to show parents you have a master plan to increase test scores instead of the path you are on.

Anonymous said...

I am in band and it is wrong that people say we will not support it. Any further music programs will be 100% backed by all the bands in MISD.
I personally would have done orchestra but i moved to Mansfield and you guys did not offer it. I think the program is a great idea t ofurther broaden the oppurtunities of kids in Mansfield.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if the new high school is going to have an orchestra room added to help accommodate for orchestra and give them their own space. I think one of the big concerns is where will orchestra go? Those instruments require a lot of storage and many of the existing programs already seem to be cramped in the spaces they have.

Anonymous said...

An Orchestra would be a wonderful addition to MISD!!

Anonymous said...

Where are you going to build the extra rooms needed at each campus? Tell everyone this first. And then tell everyone how much money it will really cost everyone who lives in the area.

Anonymous said...

stupid

Anonymous said...

We came from a Wisconsin school district which had an orchestra program and think this would definately be a wonderful implementation on your fine arts roster. However, showmanship must be improved in both the bands and future orchestras in this district because even if they can play, if the students are not in a crisp performance mindset, they will look horrible. (and they DO ...)

Anonymous said...

The orchestra program is a great idea, however, I do not wish it to detract from the band programs already established. By the way, where would these new orchestra programs rehearse? Each high school (as of now) is designed only for their band programs, and the addition of orchestras will do nothing but cause space to be tight in the band halls (and each band program will do nothing but grow larger). To the comment above mine. Mansfield ISD has one of the best Music Programs in the Metroplex. Not to mention this DFW Metroplex is one of the best in the state of Texas, and it so happens that Texas is at the top of the list in the nation when it comes to Music Programs. Just saying....I'm a band student currently at one of the high schools, and I hear that all the time from directors locally and from afar.

But either way, some serious investments (not just teachers-facilities and potential harm to band programs) need to be considered with the addition of the orchestra program. It is a wonderful idea, nonetheless, and I trust the Board to make the right decision, whatever that may be.

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea, though I wish this would have come through when I was in mansfield. I aspired to be a violinist when I was younger.

Carol Welle said...

So, so, so glad to see an orchestra program in our future. I really hope you'll add a Suzuki program in Kindergarten as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

I think that it would be a great idea! As A sophomore student i would interested in doing orchestra for the rest of high school and the years to come.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic addition to the arts program for the district! I would like to see the program introduced in the first grade.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a really good idea. I'm an 8th grader and because Mansfield didn't have an orchestra program my father drove to Dallas every Sunday afternoon so I could participate in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. Even though it does not directly relate to football it is one of the best "ideas" MISD has ever had.

Anonymous said...

Great Idea!! But maybe you should start earlier... I started playing the violin when I was six. It takes more than 6 weeks in 5th grade and 7 years to be a skilled performer.