Letter to the Editor: Music in our schools

Dear Editor:

This coming week our nation celebrates “National Arts in Education Week,” designated by Congress in 2010.  As explained by Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group established in 1960, “during this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education.”

The City of Downey is fortunate to enjoy the benefit of a long-standing arts presence in our own community, going back to the founding of the Downey Symphony Orchestra some fifty-nine years ago.  In 1995, then DSO Conductor and Artistic Director Thomas Osborn established its “Music in the Schools” educational outreach program, which has been touching the lives of elementary school students in the Downey Unified School District ever since.  

More recently, the Downey Foundation for Educational Opportunities is also now providing elementary students with violin and ukulele music lessons in schools throughout the District.
Music transformed my own life as a third-grader and has been the engine for all my life’s activities ever since.  

So during this coming week I urge all Downey residents to give thanks and to celebrate the many music and arts opportunities available to the students in our own community.

Lars Clutterham
Chair, Educational Outreach Committee
Downey Symphonic Society