Music education is vital to learning

I enjoyed Glendale Unified School District Supt. Michael Escalante's Community Commentary about the dual-language immersion programs taking place in several Glendale elementary schools (“Bilingual children have a distinct advantage,” Feb. 27).

It reminded me of a closely related topic that is near and dear to my heart: music education for young children. At the same young age that the ear and brain are most receptive to learning language, they are also most receptive to exposure to music. In fact, music could be considered a type of universal language.

Many of the intellectual and academic benefits of learning a second language are also benefits of learning about music.

We have many excellent instrumental and vocal music programs in our Glendale elementary schools. Unfortunately, many of these begin in the fourth grade, much later than the age when music is most easily and thoroughly absorbed. Any music education in kindergarten or the primary grades must be provided by already overworked classroom teachers who may or may not be trained in music, volunteers, or music docents funded by the PTA or school foundations.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of music education. Understanding the pattern and structure of music helps children recognize these aspects in other areas like math, science and language. Learning about music requires focus and concentration, skills which certainly enhance academic performance. Critical listening, thinking and memory skills are developed during music education. But perhaps the most important benefits of all are the creative outlet and lifting of the spirit that making music provides.

Music creates a level playing field where children of differing academic abilities all have a chance to succeed. It would be wonderful if music education for our young children didn't have to be provided by volunteers or funded by bake sales and silent auctions.




Tree trimmers ought to have an obligation

Regarding “Tree ordinance under scrutiny,” Thursday: A simple way to handle this situation would be to require all companies that trim trees in Glendale to have a Glendale city license to do so.

A requirement to get that license would be a complete understanding of the city ordinance on trimming protected trees.


La Crescenta


New Horizons is vital for some families

My name is Beiyun Ding. I am learning English at New Horizons (“Groups give pitch for funds,” Feb. 29). While I learn English, my children attend day care.

New Horizons does a good job at helping the community. I like this school. Also, my children like this school. Please no not take the program away. If nobody takes care of my kids, I have no chance to study English. I need studying.




New development will add to congestion

Here we go again, another massive apartment project in Glendale (“Pelanconi residents start their opposition early,” Friday) — this time, like in others, in an area already impacted by congestion, poor parking and above all across a park that houses soccer, T-ball and softball the whole year and already has a parking problem for its users. Please, do not insult our intelligence by selling the project because it will beautify the area; the fact that the building could look more or less OK does not make for all the negatives that will bring to it.

I still remember the city asking us last year to curb the water consumption because of the drought (by the way still existing); what do you think another 600-plus residents will do to the water situation?

Sensible redevelopment is a good thing, nonstop careless growth is greedy and stupid.




Property rights losing on Hazbeth issue

When you read “The proposed project is well within all code requirements, with the floor area covering just 2% of the 6.8-acre lot — far below the allowed 30%” (“Proposed house is up to council,” Monday) it should make you happy that the owner is only building a 5,114-square-foot home at 1650 Hazbeth Lane.

I guess if the owner wanted to build a house the size of an acre they could as long as it wasn't in the foothills. The only thing holding back this project is a permit to grade more than 1,500 cubic feet? Are you kidding me?

This is like driving 65 mph on the freeway and getting a speeding ticket for having a fancier car. I think we know what the answer is to the question the City Council is weighing: “how to balance individual property rights, especially if a project meets the required codes, with community sentiment.” Property rights lose and sentimental feelings win. Welcome to the Socialist Republic of Glendale.



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