December 21, 2010
Students in six West Virginia public schools will enjoy the sounds that new musical instruments make in their bands and music classes this year, thanks to a partnership between the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (www.wvculture.org) and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.savethemusic.com). Each school is receiving approximately $30,000 worth of new musical instruments through the nonprofit foundation program.
The six schools are Capon Bridge Middle School in Hampshire County; Duval PK-8, Guyan Valley Middle School and Hamlin PK-8 in Lincoln County, and Gilbert Elementary School and Kermit K-8 in Mingo County.
“This is an exciting program for our West Virginia elementary and middle schools,” said Randall Reid-Smith, Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. “Providing young students with opportunities to learn more about music and to play musical instruments adds an important dimension to their education and their interests in the arts.”
This statewide project is the first of its kind for VH1 Save The Music, which has worked with individual schools and school districts in the past, but never a state.
“We are excited about the opportunities this project will open for West Virginia schools and for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation,” said Rob Davidson, program director for the Foundation.
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation program is dedicated to supporting and restoring instrumental music programs in America’s public schools, according to Davidson. “Studies have shown that music education develops critical thinking and self discipline skills and improves early cognitive development,” he said.
Each school completed a comprehensive review of its music programs to be eligible for the program, according to Davidson.
“The review involves the school administration and the music staff so there is a consensus about what will best serve the students,” he said. “Because this is a long-term partnership with each school and not just a one-time visit, VH1 Save The Music Foundation wants to be certain that each school has a strong vision for its music program and a good plan for carrying that vision out.”
Any traditional West Virginia public elementary or middle school that has a certified music teacher and wants to build its instrumental music program may qualify for a VH1 Save The Music Foundation grant, according to Reid-Smith. “We hope to see programs in every county of the state within the next few years,” he said. “Having this opportunity is a wonderful way to strengthen our state’s arts focus as we introduce our youth to the pleasures of music in all of its many forms.”
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
About VH1 Save The Music Foundation
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. To date, VH1 Save The Music has provided more than $45 million in new musical instruments to 1,700 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of over 1.4 million children. The Foundation’s renewed commitment to donate one hundred million dollars worth of new musical instruments to ensure that even a greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education in the coming decade. Get involved and learn more at www.vh1savethemusic.com.