BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Parents and students rallied Wednesday on the steps of City Hall, decrying the cuts to music programs in Buffalo Public Schools.
Next year's budget eliminates half of the Buffalo Public Schools' music programs - 14 out of 28 - and makes substantial cuts to four more.
Parent Monique Boudreau said, "I think that all arts education is important, music in particular, because it allows the students to express themselves in a way that they may not otherwise have the tools to do."
And it was with music that students, parents and teachers expressed their frustration to the school board.
One student said, "Music is my life. I love music!"
Another added, "I've been in violin for eight years. I don't want to quit now."
"Music is the best thing that's ever happened to me," a third stated.
Parent Chanise Rivera opined, "Buffalo Public suffers from a lot of the things that schools should not be dealing with. The one thing you can leave us is music in our schools, so that our children have a different way of approaching learning."
Joseph Wooten, keyboardist for the Steve Miller Band, flew in from Nashville to implore board members to reconsider. For the past four years, he's been visiting kids in Buffalo's music classes as a motivational speaker.
"Music turns schools around. It transforms lives. It teaches the things that we want kids at risk to learn: how to work together," Wooten said.
It appears the board is unlikely to put resources back into music.
Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown said, "As we talk about preparing children for college and careers, they need to be able to read, write and do math."
But for students, this is the song that never ends.
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