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Our Community Focus

Music Comes Back

Jul 02, 2015 03:34PM ● By Elena Hutslar

At the June 1 Mt. Diablo Union School District board meeting, board members unanimously approved restoration of 4th grade instrumental music for the 2015-2016 school year and added three music teacher positions. The 4th grade program will be fully staffed in the 2016-2017 school year by adding an additional three music teacher positions. In May 2014, the board took action and approved the restoration of the 5th grade music program by funding six elementary instrumental music teacher positions.

Prior to 2009, a pullout instrumental music program was offered for 4th and 5th grades in all elementary schools. Due to budget cuts, the 4th grade program was eliminated by MDUSD board action on March 3, 2009.

According to MDUSD, restoring the 5th grade program has resulted in 1,287 students participating in the instrumental music program, representing 50% of the district-wide 5th grade enrollment.  In addition, there has been an increase in community support for music education, including instrument donations from Mount Diablo Music Education Fund, Assistance League of the Diablo Valley, and donations from other community members. It has also increased enrollment in middle school band and orchestra courses for 2015-2016.

The cost of staffing the 4th grade program is comparable to the staffing cost of the 5th grade program; however, additional music instruments must be purchased for student use. Therefore, the overall cost of the 4th grade program will be slightly higher, at $392,118. Funding will be available through the Unrestricted General Fund.