Letter to the editor: Retain the Edmonds School District’s strong music program

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to members of the Edmonds School Board. It is being republished here at the author’s request.

Dear Board Members: 

I am writing to support retention of a full program of music education in the Edmonds School District. As a 31-year music educator in the district (mostly as band director at Woodway and Edmonds-Woodway High Schools), I witnessed and participated in one of the finest all-around music programs in the state. Not only were there many fine musicians and music educators who were products of the system, but the strong music programs clearly were the reason many students stayed in school. Music can be the only place where many students find joy in learning and acceptance from fellow students. It kept them learning; it still does.

Following my career in Edmonds, I served for 20 years as executive director of the Washington Music Educators Association, the professional organization of school music teachers pre-K through university. Time and time again I witnessed the importance of music education and its positive impact on students and communities. I also observed that the Edmonds School District was consistently among the best.

I urge you to allow the music educators in Edmonds to continue offering the music classes they have in the past–they have obviously been successful in helping the district turn out some of the best-educated students anywhere.

Music education can be fragile. The damage caused by cutting programs can take years to recover, as we discovered after the levy failures in the 1970s. Do not let history repeat itself. Retain the Edmonds School District’s strong music program.

Bruce Caldwell, music educator
Edmonds School District, 1964-1995
Washington Music Educators Association, 1995-2015

  1. When was the last time the money allocated from the State was adjusted for the significant increases in inflation over the past 2 years? The State wants to spend billions on homelessness issues! Important yes, but what is more important than a comprehensive education for our children?

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