There are agencies in the community with the purpose of training students on music instruments. These agencies may or may not identify as professional recreation agencies, given the misunderstanding of the recreation profession. According to the Music For All Foundations Sound of Silence Executive Summary of September 2004, the California Basic Educational Data System reported a decline in music education in California by 50% from 1999-2003, while the student population increased by nearly 6%. Specifically, band participation (traditional wind and percussion classes) dropped 20.5 % and instrumental lessons (band, orchestra, guitar, etc.) dropped 41.4%. The two primary reasons cited for the decline include the increased testing since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and the documented budget situation in California. With the sharp decline in statewide music education participation in general, and the self reported data which indicate limited participation in activities and a marked disconnection with school, I further questioned how accountability mandates affect what happens to arts programs, and specifically instrumental music instruction. Given declining enrollment status in the music classes, what are the options we can provide students to be musicians and to have the music experience as an instrumental performer?


About mundyviar

Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a newly relocated music teacher in the Palm Springs Unified School District of California, USA. For the past 18 years, he served the students and families within the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. In this role, he discovered the need for a reevaluation of the roles, purposes, and directions of scholastic music in a changing community and in a changing economy. The direction of his doctoral work was largely influenced by this experience. He researches the attitudes, levels of satisfaction, and lifelong learning effects of music training both inside and outside of the traditional school experience, with an eye on the roles that community based organizations may play in this. Prior to his assignment as a public school music teacher, Dr. Viar served as a Program Director for the Blue Devils, an internationally revered youth organization dedicated to performance excellence, also based in Concord, California, USA. During his time with the Blue Devils, the "B" Corps was reinvigorated and performed with renewed excitement, proficiency, and levels of success. Under Dr. Viar's guidance, BDB performed in the 1997 Drum Corps International World Championships in Orlando, Florida, and the 1998 World Marching Band Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture Japan. Basil Mundy Viar, III, is a graduate of the Transformative Inquiry Department at the California Institute of Integral Studies (PhD) in San Francisco, California, USA. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley; Single Subject Teaching Credential from the Bay Area College of Chapman University in Orange, California; and a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Community and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University of Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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