Hard Reality for Music and Art Programs in Rural America (VIDEO)
Last week, we shared that special moment between two Northern Michigan high schools. It was inspirational, but also brought to light, the struggles that schools face in small town America. I had the chance to talk about this with Brandon, the music teacher, at one of those schools.
Last week we reported about a special moment between "the two small schools that could." Glen Lake High School has a football program, but no band. They heard about Forest Area High School, my alma mater, cancelling their football season. The call was made and the rest is history. But, there's more to the story. As the push to get the attention of the Ellen Show was on, the conversations about what has become of band programs in smaller communities grew.
I played in the band and sang in the choir at Forest Area, over three decades ago. Music has shaped my life and has earned me a nice living. Every student, no matter where you're from, deserves that same chance. Poverty in rural America is a real thing, so where does the money come from? Donations from local businesses? How much can those handful of small town businesses afford to give? Trust me, I don't have all of the answers, but starting a dialogue is a great way to start. We need to, and on what better show, then on Ellen. These kids deserve that chance!
Here's the unedited interview with Brandon Deike, music teacher at Forest Area High School. Hopefully, we started that dialogue, that may help other rural towns. Take a listen and let us know.