Anastasia Shackelford, Board President; Jim Coombs, Superintendent; Cameron Miller, Music Teacher; Linda Takacs, Principal; Nathan Howe, Assistant Principal; Dylan Rockenbach, Music Assistant Consultant
The Lowell Joint SD Arts For All: Let the Music Play program was established to encourage all students to discover the passion for life within themselves through the avenue of instrumental music. Prior to 2000, Lowell Joint students where greatly limited by the lack of opportunity and connection to the arts. Recognizing that LJSD students are bright, talented and capable learners, staff embraced the challenge of integrating a comprehensive instrumental music program into daily school experiences, creating a permeating life changing program at all LJSD Schools. Each elementary school engages every interested sixth-grader with limitless openings, which results in more than 75 percent of all sixth-graders enrolling. With a strong/large sixth-grade engagement, the Rancho-Starbuck Jr. High has a significant enrollment. Practices, events and ongoing performances engage students and help build a “school family” where students feel they belong. Now 11 years into the program, the results have been extraordinary, with high grade point averages, 50-percent less absences, and significantly fewer discipline referrals. The number of instrumental students with perfect attendance and zero discipline referrals is equally extraordinary. The breadth and nature of the program to engage students in instrumental music, as well as the astounding results, affirm the exemplary nature of the Arts For All: Let the Music Play program.