My students are all part of a performing middle school band program. Students showcase their musical abilities and skills at pep rally’s for multiple sports, community band concerts, and adjudicated contests and festivals. Many of my students excel outside of group performance on an individual level as well! They practice for auditions, take private lessons, and continually bug me for deeper, more advanced music.
My students are begging me for more challenging music.
However, the students individual learning as well as the band program’s growth is being stifled from a lack of quality equipment. While several areas of the program do not have the necessary materials, the greatest area of need is the percussion section.
If you’ve ever been a part of a musical group, you know that the percussion section is the “heartbeat” of a group. Without the proper equipment, it is almost impossible to properly play advanced music. The lack of even the most standard equipment in our percussion section has severely limited the progression of the student’s growth and maturity as musicians.
I take my students' music education very seriously. The amount of time and effort I require of my students produces great results. However, we have reached a plateau. The lack of basic mallet percussion equipment is severely impeding the progression of my percussion students. Because my percussion students cannot progress, neither can the other musicians in the band program. My band director was fond of saying this:
"A band program is, like a chain, only as strong as its weakest point." The learning of a small group of students is stifled, but it is effecting the entire program.
With a 3-octave xylophone, a whole new range of techniques can be taught to my students: dampening, multiple mallets, and solo percussion literature to name just a few. As the percussion section learns to properly play the xylophone, all the students will positively be affected. A different level of music will be opened up to the entire band program that wasn't available before because of the lack of proper instruments. The more difficult and challenging music I am able to put in front of my students, the more they grow as musicians.
I am a firm believer that music education changes lives. As my students learn more music, the more they will be able to contribute to a well-rounded society. Please consider contributing to the purchase of a xylophone so that I can further my students' music education.
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