Hoping subject ends on a high note

Gary Moskowitz

BURBANK -- It's become clear to parents and educators that in order to

bring music back to district elementary schools, it's going to take


The school board voted Thursday to appoint a task force of 10 to 12

members to address the issue after hearing a proposal by Greg Bowman, the

Burbank Unified School District deputy superintendent planning the return

of the music program to the primary schools.

"What we're looking to establish is a timeline and begin some interim

implementation, thinking ahead to next year," said Bowman, whose

strategic master plan for the district lists an elementary school music

program as one of 13 priorities. "It can be difficult to take a

theoretical idea and put it into a conceptual format."

On June 7, Roland Armstorff and 20 other parents submitted to the

district a 15-page outline of the proposed implementation of music into

elementary school curriculum, which is under review by members of the


"Our philosophy is that music isn't just an elective, but a necessary

element of core curriculum," Armstorff said. "Music should be treated the

same as math, English and social studies."

In August 1991, a $100,000 districtwide elementary school music

program was terminated by the school board due to cuts in state budget.

Teachers like Chris Kneisel have reacted to the overwhelming interest

by parents to provide their children with music instruction by holding

rehearsals after school.

"We've been a little blinded by the trees, and it's been very time

consuming," said Kneisel, a third-grade teacher at Bret Harte Elementary

School. "There are many teachers and parents helping educate students

with music, and we'd like to unify our efforts."

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