Two businesses help fund music program in Firebaugh schools

Music is making a comeback at schools here in the valley after budget cuts have caused many programs to fall flat.
November 5, 2013 9:01:47 PM PST
Music is making a comeback at schools in the Valley after budget cuts have caused many programs to fall flat. A classroom at Arther E. Mills Intermediate School in Firebaugh is once again alive with the sound of music after budget cuts forced its programs to go silent nearly five years ago.

"Oh, it's insane for us. The community has been aching to have music back within it and it's so wonderful now to be able to give them that," Ryan Dirlam, Music Director for the Firebaugh Las Deltas Unified School District said.

Thanks to funds generated by a solar project at bailey primary school music education is looking up for the district.

"We never had anything like this before," 5th grader Gabriela Torres said.

Officials were able to drum up enough resources to hire two fulltime music teachers. And because of that commitment the VH1 Save the Music Foundation awarded it with two $30,000 dollar grants to create keyboard labs at both campuses.

"It was amazing because just to think that two years ago these kids didn't have any music and now to see how excited and passionate and enthusiastic they are for music. It's just so amazing and they'll take this with them they're entire life," Jaclyn Rudderow with VH1 Save the Music Foundation said.

Tuesday Monster headphones also surprised the kids with a donation of 60 pairs of headphones. The headphones allow the kids to plug into another keyboard and share their music.

"That's really cool because there's a button on the keyboard that we have to push to hear the partner's keyboard but now we can just plug them in and hear everybody's," 5th grader Andrey Sansores said.

The donations were instrumental in restoring musical education at the elementary level. And now both the middle and high schools are offering band, choir and percussion. Educators here say music classes are key to a good education.

"Our kids are just waiting to be a part of those other music ensembles so it's really wonderful to be a part of this revolution if you will bringing music back into this district," Dirlam said.


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