Compiling the Evidence: Music Programs Tuning Out

Photo by woodleywonderworks, Creative Commons License

WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by The California Endowment.Youth are exploring and investigating how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can empower and improve their local school communities.

The community cause we worked on is the lack of music programs in high schools. The issue came up because our school, Environmental Science and Technology High School, doesn't provide a music program for its students. This made us curious. With more research, we found out many high schools around our school and community don't have a music program. A solution that our team came up with was to use funds from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to start and support music programs. In order to receive these funds, our cause must meet the LCFF priority requirements of accountability. We believe adding music programs in schools will increase student achievement and improve the climate in schools. When students are involved in music programs, and especially playing an instrument, their academic success increases. Music opens new doors in the brain that other activities can't! Also, music is a safe and fun hobby that students can get involved in. It can decrease school suspensions and expulsions, which will improve the school climate in schools.

We interviewed a Boyle Heights artist and musician, Susan Romero, who is in fact the mom of one of our CyberPunks, Chloé Garcia. We also interviewed a music teacher at KIPP LA: Prep in Boyle Heights named Antonio Sauza.

Susan Romero was very passionate about our cause of adding more music programs in local high schools. We weren't very surprised about Susan's answers, but more appreciative of her great responses to our questions including, "Music allows creative expression. Music is a language that every student should have the opportunity to learn. Youth that play an instrument tend to do better academically."

Music Instruments Photo by, Rosipaw, Creative Commons License


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Community Interview: Antonio Sauza, Music Teacher