Carrie and Tony Requist: Band is invaluable


Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary Schools are planning to cut the fifth grade band program from the curriculum, and we think this is wrong.

The fifth grade band program costs only one part-time salary for the 140 students it serves, hardly making a dent in the district’s $20 million budget. The program, available free to all fifth graders (except for instrument cost), takes the students out of their classroom for just 1 hour and 40 minutes per week, a total of 54 hours during the entire fifth-grade school year.

For that, fifth-graders receive an invaluable introduction to and instruction in band instruments. Music requires focus, concentration and physical movement. Numerous studies show that music education, especially in the elementary years, contributes to brain development and higher test scores.

The fifth grade band program is the foundation of the middle and high school bands. These bands have grown dramatically lately, continuing the benefits of music education for far more students than in the past.

If the fifth grade band program is eliminated, we can expect a drop in the number of middle and high School students receiving this important education.

We are parents who know how valuable this program is and how much it can contribute to a student’s love of learning and academic success. That is why we think it is necessary for this program to continue, especially considering the low investment that it requires.

The decision will be heard by the School Board on Monday night. Please let the School Board, the principals and the superintendent know that you value the fifth grade band program by contacting them.

Steamboat Springs School Board members:

■ Robin Crossan: 970-871-1284,  

■ Lisa Brown: 970-879-5969,

■ Denise Connelly: 970-879-1910,   

■ Laura Anderson: 970-871-4873,  

■ Brian T. Kelly: 970-879-0045,

■ Superintendent Shalee Cunningham: 970-879-1530,

■ Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris: 970-871-3396,

■ Strawberry Park Elementary Schoool Principal Celia Dunham: 970-871-3491,

■ Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop: 970-879-1058,

■ Steamboat Springs High School Principal Kevin Taulman: 970-879-1562,

Carrie and Tony Requist

Trish, Chuck, Mary, Megan, Kathleen and Finn O’Connell

Jeff and Trigg Gerber

Caroline Fisher

Julia Andrews

Theresa Lictenfels

Camille Fisher

Sarah and Pink (John) Floyd

Deidre Saunders


nordicskier 6 years ago

Come on Requists get off you high horse. How about you contact the school board?


Carrie Requist 5 years, 12 months ago

We all have contacted the school board, superintendent and principals. This is a community issue and we felt the community should know about it in case others wanted to express their opinions as well.


Chris Elliott 5 years, 12 months ago

Carrie they are not planning on cutting all of band, only half so each elementary school would get it for one semester. The bigger issue that you should be concerned with is that they are planning on cutting Spanish either entirely ,or depending on the budget, from third and fourth grades. I feel that this has a much larger impact on the students than band. Fifth grade has a hard time finding time to teach all the the curriculum as it is. The new standards for next year put even more pressure on them to teach more with fewer resources. I would rather see band offered as an after school activity and more time spent in the classroom.


Carrie Requist 5 years, 12 months ago

I have only heard that Spanish was possibly in the mix and have been surprised that there seems to be no one rallying around Spanish. I believe the band program is excellent and provides a lot of worth to a lot of kids for a small amount. Only one semester at each school would be a big loss. My children's education in 5th grade did not suffer while they were at band; the music education supported their academic education. As an after school activity, it is not available to kids who have to take the bus home and that puts it in direct competition with all the other after school activities including SSWSC. There are very few opportunities for music education in our community. I certainly do understand that there is only so much budget and so much time in the school day and not everyone is going to agree on how this should be spent. We think band should stay in the mix and wanted to alert the community so people can make their opinions heard as you just have. Thanks for joining the conversation.


jerry carlton 5 years, 12 months ago

This is the United States. We speak English here. If you want your children to learn Spanish, get them a computer, get them a correspondence course. If you want your children to learn French, get them a computer, get them a correspondence course. Same thing for how many thousand languages there in this world. Dump the Spanish and all the other foreign languages. Keep the band. Buy American. Speak English.


sledneck 5 years, 12 months ago

Economics: The study of the allocation of scarce resources which have alternate uses.

Wake up America. You can't have all your eyes survey.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.