Donation is music to middle school teacher's ears

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

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.


Like this comment
Posted by harvardmom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I love good news, especially when it's related to education. Great job, Crittenden and Fidelity!

Like this comment
Posted by Marti Wright
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I have been lucky to be involved with the music dept at Crittenden for the past several years, taking pictures for them. The music teachers at the school are real professionals and bring a lot of creativity to the students with choral groups, choirs, bands, orchestras and at years end a musical play.... Thanks Fidelity, they really needed the help... Know the students will benefit from it.

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Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Maher is a registered user.

Oh I so wish I had the funds to make donations like this to local school programs. I would be thrilled by the feeling of helping I'm sure.

Like this comment
Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Our son is enrolled in Ms Miyata's program and we see first-hand the passion and skill she and her co-workers bring to the program. Congratulations on the grant!

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Posted by Rossta
a resident of Waverly Park
on Sep 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

Rossta is a registered user.

This is Great! Thank you Fidelity! It is wonderful to have music and arts supported in our schools in this time when all of the tax dollars are focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering mathematics).
But, I do have to say that I don't like these focused donations where a company chooses a particular school to play favorites with. Google recently gave a big grant to Huff as well. I would prefer that they donate to the district and let them distribute the funding where it is needed. Or to our wonderful Mountain View Educational Foundation, that has been providing the music, arts and sports funding for years.

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Posted by Musical Instruments Online
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 1, 2013 at 4:07 am

oh this is awesome,i like the news which are related to the education.The music plays an important role in the education.
To know about musical instruments visit

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