Mountain View Voice

News - September 20, 2013

Donation is music to middle school teacher's ears

Gift of instruments will help keep Crittenden's music programs strong

by Nick Veronin

Crittenden Middle School's already large music program can continue growing thanks to a recent donation of $21,000 in instruments, including French horns, tenor and baritone saxophones, cellos, violas and flutes.

The program needed the donation badly, according to Arlene Miyata, one of Crittenden's two music teachers.

"Getting these instruments really helped us out," Miyata said.

While close to 200 students are enrolled in at least one of the school's many music classes — including band, orchestra, guitar and choir — she estimated that as few as 10 percent of them have their own instruments. The rest are provided by the school.

And that makes the recent donation all the more important, Miyata said. "I'm super excited," she said. "I'm really happy about being able to meet the demand of students."

The donation was the result of a grant proposal, which Miyata submitted to the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation — an organization dedicated to helping underfunded public school music programs around the country. The MHOF was able to secure funding for the grant from Fidelity Investments, which has an investment center in Mountain View.

"Fidelity recognizes the importance of supporting the arts in our local schools and is happy to help programs, like the one here at Crittenden School," local branch manager Aaron Argabright said in a press release.

Miyata said supporting music in schools is indeed a worthy pursuit. It gives children an artistic and creative outlet and is an important component in a well-rounded education, she said.

Now that Crittenden's instrument supply isn't spread as thin as it was before the donation, Miyata said she can work on making needed repairs to some of her department's older instruments as well as on updating their inventory of percussion instruments.

Miyata said she hopes to see the music department at Crittenden — which is already larger than some high school music programs — continue to grow.

Comments

Posted by Mel , a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Way to go Mrs. Miyata


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