Gautier Elementary receives grant for music education - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier Elementary receives grant for music education

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - With school cuts, art and music programs are often seen as luxuries.  But a program run through Carnegie Hall helps get and keep music instruments in children's hands and keep music alive in the school.   

Music filled the halls of Gautier Elementary Wednesday as third, fourth, and fifth practiced their flutes. The kids want to make sure every note is perfect.  In a few days, the kids will be in concert with Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. 

Student Evan Addison is eager for the concert.  All school year, he and his classmates have been learning how to read and play music. 

"It is great opportunity to learn something new about music," Addison said. 

The opportunity is funded through the world renowned Carnegie Hall's LinkUp Program.

Music Teacher Russell Sample said the school received thousands of dollars worth of books and recorders for the kids. The Pascagoula School District has music programs in all 16 schools to motivate kids about arts. He said arts education is vital to student success. 

"Albert Einstein, he was very much a problem child in school until he started playing the violin. It seems to focus the children and they make better grades and they learn structure and reasonability." 

Sample feels programs like this also keep music on kids' minds. He said that's important because there is a huge need for more music teachers in the classroom. 

"I just came from the Mississippi Educator's Music Conference in Jackson. There is a very high demand for music teachers in this country." 

Sample hopes more money can be poured into school to promote music and develop future music composers and teachers. 

Sample said Gautier Elementary will soon offer the first musical strings program in the district to teach kids how to play the violin. 

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