Sections    Monday June 18th, 2018
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Special grant helps Buckeye Elementary students make music


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  • Bo Larsen/Buckeye Elementary School District

Buckeye Elementary School District Band Director Amber Shupe Works With Students During Band Camp. Photo Courtesy Buckeye Elementary School District

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation believes children involved in active music participation show improved performance in reading and math, score higher on standardized tests, are more likely to go on to college, and are less likely to be involved with gangs, drugs or alcohol abuse. The 501-c3 organization recently awarded a grant of new musical instruments to Marionneaux Elementary School in Buckeye.

Marionneaux is a new K-8 school opening Aug. 2. This is the second grant the Buckeye Elementary School District has received from the Foundation, providing instruments for district schools.

“Music and the arts are an important component for the well-rounded education our schools provide,” said BESD Superintendent Dr. Kristi Sandvik. “We’re proud of our music program in our schools, we know that the community is, as well.”

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation, located in New York, develops strategic partnerships with school districts to build sustainable instrumental music programs by providing grants of brand-­new musical instruments to public elementary and middle schools.

“Without these grants we would probably not have a music program,” said District Band Director Amber Shupe. “Music makes a difference in many of our student’s lives. When a student is in band they are part of a family. When they get to high school they have other band students they can depend on for support.

“Our program is growing, and because of what we are able to do at the district level (PreK-8) our high schools’ band programs are growing, as well.”

Most Buckeye District Band students begin their musical journey with little or no musical training. Students begin learning how to play their instruments from the very beginning, by learning the basics from how to properly put the instrument together to getting more in depth with reading music and performing on their instruments. The District Band is a band made up of students from all seven of the schools in the Buckeye Elementary School District.

Throughout the school year, students perform in concerts and are introduced to marching by performing in the City of Buckeye’s The Pioneer Days Parade.

“It’s exciting to see a young student who had never picked up an instrument learn how to care for it, play it, read music, and then perform in concerts and march in a parade in less than a year,” said Shupe. “The engagement and enthusiasm these students demonstrate, not just in band, but school as well, is amazing.”

About BESD
Buckeye Elementary School District, Arizona District 33, is a PreK-8 school district in Buckeye, Ariz. educating more than 5,200 students and employing more than 600 staff. The district consists of seven K-8 schools, Bales Elementary School, Buckeye Elementary School, Inca Elementary School, Jasinski Elementary School, Marionneaux Elementary School (opening Aug. 2), Sundance Elementary School and WestPark Elementary School. In addition, the school district also includes the Buckeye Elementary Preschool and the Buckeye Family Resource Center. For more information about BESD go to www.besd33.org.