story of Dr. David John Yeh, a neurosurgeon who also has kept violin-playing as a major part of his life.Earlier this week on Violinist.com, member Diana Skinner told the inspiring
Yeh began his musical studies at a school string program at his local public school in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the comments, Skinner adds, "I'm quite certain the string program at the elementary level that Dr. Yeh participated in no longer exists."
This made me curious. I also started violin at my local public elementary school in Aurora, Colorado. Do they still have an instrumental music program at Eastridge Elementary School? I called, and here's what they told me: "Our music teacher does hand-chimes but I don't think that's an every-year thing."
I pressed a little further, "So if someone wanted to start playing the violin or something...?"
"Oh no, not here."
I found this extremely disheartening. It would seem that, at least in the U.S., a child may have had such a chance before the 1980s or so, but afterward that time, music programs became much more scarce, nation-wide.
Please let us know, did you have an instrumental music program in your elementary school that would have allowed you to start playing the violin or another legitimate instrument (not the recorder or hand chimes)? What are your thoughts on the matter? And also please share your ideas about what we can do to advocate for school instrumental music programs.
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