District Changes Fourth Grade Music Program

Elementary schools offer a new experience for students

Olivia Kao, Reporter

As elementary school students enter the new school year, one grade level in particular will not have an opportunity given to previous students. 

PVPUSD decided to replace the fourth grade instrumental music program with alternative music-related classes.

Instead, fourth graders will rotate between classes that cover music of the Americas, digital music, and an introduction to playing an instrument. 

An early exposure to music is incredibly important for students. 

“When presented at a young age, the music is of the simpler, less complex form and is easily understood and accessible for children,” local piano teacher Darlene Vlasek said. 

“In my teaching experience, it has been proven many times that children have an innate sense of appreciation for and recognition of expressions of greatness, particularly in music.”

The music programs at schools all across the PVPUSD district have been subject to budget cuts, resulting in numbers of student musicians decreasing by the year. This has been seen at all grade levels. 

There are many students at PVHS who were directly influenced by the music program. 

“Elementary school music definitely pushed me to keep going and play music in middle school,” sophomore drummer Nate Friedman said. 

“I think that it had a huge impact on who I am today because I found something that I love to do and it’s given me huge opportunities.”  

Other students had the same experience with the program. 

“Learning to play [an instrument] in fourth grade showed me I had a passion for playing music, and allowed me to explore that interest,” senior saxophonist Max Colomer said. 

“I think it’s important that kids are introduced to music at a young age so they have time to explore all of the opportunities that music can provide.”

The school year awaits many changes, one being the change of the fourth grade music program. It is yet to be seen if the new music classes will provide the same enrichment that playing a musical instrument throughout the entirety of fourth grade did for many.