Multiple academic studies have shown that students who study music, as a whole, have higher grade-point averages and standardized test scores than those who don’t. Music offerings vary in Dayton-area schools, from school districts that offer numerous types of bands, choirs and classes, to others with minimal offerings.
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“I was shocked when I came to Dayton and we didn’t have high school bands,” said Rhonda Corr, who is finishing her first year as DPS superintendent. “We have to start somewhere, and starting with drumlines is a good place to bring it back. Pardon the pun, but we’re trying to drum up interest. Please check out your attic, see if you have things you can donate.”
DPS has continued to have some music offerings, including multiple bands and ensembles at Stivers School for the Arts, but they have not been consistent at all schools and some have been informal.
Nerny said the DPS Foundation is working with the Dayton Philharmonic volunteers, WDPR-FM and Twentig in seeking all types of instrument donations. They can be dropped off at DPS headquarters at Fourth and Ludlow downtown.
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“This is something doable,” Nerny said. “We like it because of the emotional appeal, and because we are convinced of the value of the arts, what it will do for the students as people.”
Nerny said the school district will have to review staffing and budget issues, but she hopes it can fund a music coordinator position. If at least one drumline is fully functioning this fall, that will give the program a visible example to build on fundraising.
“Once again, our playing fields will have enthusiastic halftime music, and our community will witness confident, disciplined DPS students performing at their best,” she said.