Thursday, March 16, 2006
Teachers make excellent point about music in education

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital,
Medical director

I attended the All-County Band concert on March 2. It was wonderful to see the young adults of our county make their parents and loved ones proud of them. One of the items printed in the program was an excerpt from a publication by the Music Educators National Conference. I wanted to share it with you:

What is the value of music?
Music is a form of beauty. It needs no one to justify it. We want our children to know and understand music, precisely because it has the intrinsic value on many levels. Music is a dominant force in American live culture, molding and shaping the public's senses, creating its meanings, and shaping its values. Music connects us to our history, traditions and heritage. It is critically important that our children, as Americans, make this connection. When a child studies music, significant elements of his or her education find focus and expression:

  • Developing the ability to understand and use symbols in contexts;
  • Finding and directing the power of personal creativity and self expression;
  • Exercising the diverse skills of problem solving; and
  • Participating in the deeply human satisfaction of shared work and meeting new challenges.

Education without music shortchanges our children and their futures.
The music community should become directly involved in and take responsibility for the success and growth of school music programs, and make their concerns known to local officials. Parents must make music an important part of their homes, strike an alliance with their children's music teachers, and make sure their local school boards know of their commitment to music education. Music teachers, principals, and other faculty are urged to "act on what you know is true" – that music is every bit as important as language and mathematics – and to work together to enhance, enrich, and integrate the use of music. The call to action: The National Commission calls on "all who love the arts to insist that instruction in music and other arts be reestablished as basic to education because they are fundamental to what it means to be an educated person." Music education is basic education.

Traveling colon coming to Delaware
CoCo, the Colossal Colon is making its Delaware debut for national colorectal cancer awareness month. The 40-foot-long crawl-through replica of a human colon will make stops in Wilmington and Dover. This event is part of an ongoing effort by the Delaware Cancer Consortium and the Delaware Division of Public Health to educate Delawareans about the importance of colorectal cancer screening. They are encouraging individuals age 50 and over to get screened for this disease for two reasons. First, colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in Delaware. And second, it is a preventable form of cancer. The Colossal Colon was featured on the Today Show in 2002 and has traveled to more than 75 cities in the U.S. The Colossal Colon exhibit is free and open to the public. In Dover, the exhibit will be set up in a tent in the Dover Mall parking lot Friday, March 24, 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, March 26, noon to 5 p.m.