Why LISD should invest in an orchestra program

Ashley Chase, Editor in Chief

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Even though LISD is prided on their focus on music and exceptional musical talent, no schools in the LISD area have an orchestra program. Band programs are the only instrumental option for musicians currently, and many require that the students who join band must also participate in marching band.

Schools in the LISD area should develop an orchestra program for students along with the marching band program.

First of all, an orchestra provides a different option for students who have proficiency in different instruments or have no desire to participate in the marching part of the band program. Orchestra involves a different range of instruments than the classic marching band program, such as stringed instruments like the cello or violin, but also still has some of the same core instruments of the band program as well with their brass, woodwind, and percussion sections. This would encourage a wider range of musical talent in students and give the option for the students to focus on musical performance without the pressure of marching band.

An orchestra program would also provide students with a wide skillset that they could use for other careers later in life. The kinds of classical pieces students could play would be different from band due to orchestra having a different set of instruments, allowing students to be exposed to an entirely different genre of music. Students could build greater sensitivity as musicians and develop an understanding of other cultures throughout history. Students would also learn how to practice effectively and consistently along with developing professional performance skills. This kind of experience, of teaching the kids to take the responsibility to work hard in order to succeed in a certain area, can be applied to any job field.

Many people oppose an orchestra program because of how expensive it is, both for children to pay for or rent instruments and the added expense for the school to add another music program. While the program will be expensive, this doesn’t have to become a burden for the schools and students involved. Just like marching band, there are fundraising events that the orchestra can plan and financial aid programs for students who may struggle with the cost of their instruments and other orchestra events. If these measures are taken to help with the cost of an orchestra program, the benefits will by far be worth the time and money invested in it.

With LISD’s emphasis on excellence in music education, an orchestra program can no longer be ignored. In order for our schools to be able to achieve at the same level as schools in other district, we need to expand the range and quality of our music education. An orchestra program would cater to a larger group of students and provide valuable life experience and skills than just a band program while still being reasonably expensive. With all the options available and our reputation as a school district, the demand for an orchestra program is perfectly reasonable and well worth the effort to establish it.

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