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Bedford Student Advocates Against Cuts To Music Department

Zoe Dweck, a senior a Bedford High School, speaks out about cuts to elementary music programs.
Zoe Dweck, a senior a Bedford High School, speaks out about cuts to elementary music programs. Photo Credit: File

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The Bedford Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email bedford@dailyvoice.com.

To the editor:

After watching the (school) budget meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24, I was disappointed to see that music education was the first cut to be discussed. The budget problems in Bedford seemed to have been kicked down the road over the years, and now here we are, trying to compensate for an overwhelming amount of debt that might have been avoided if tackled earlier.

So, as a serious musician, I watched a massive blow to the music department be discussed, it seemed unfair to me that students and music/arts teachers will have to pay so drastically for mistakes that administrators have made over the years. With this eight million dollar deficit, it is obvious that cuts will be made; no program is truly safe. However, as I watched an outstanding $500,000 cut to the music program be discussed, I felt uneasy.

I watched with sadness and concern for the fates of music extracurriculars and music education at the elementary level. I thought back to my own beginnings in music. As I watched the excited and enthusiastic fourth and fifth-graders demonstrating on their instruments, the shy, second-grade Zoe felt a strong pull towards the violin. After being mentored and taught by inspiring and talented music educators throughout my time at Bedford, I am now the co-concertmaster of my youth orchestra, a member of a trio that will most likely be coached by the NY Philharmonic, an All-State musician, a dedicated violin student playing sophisticated music, a private violin teacher, a prospective violin performance major… the list goes on as to how music has played such a significant role in my life.

I would like to discuss the importance of starting music education in the elementary schools. I hope that the BCSD administrators will choose to engage in a conversation with me. Let us not silence the instruments that are giving so many of our students voices.

Zoe Dweck

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