by Simran V '11

BSGE Missing A Note–What Happened to IB Music?

Going, going and gone…That is the status of BSGE’s IB music diploma program. There are few students who plan on taking IB music. But the loss is not only detrimental to those few students. It is also a loss to our school which you should consider even if music is not your forte and you weren’t one of the few interested in IB music. And by those few students, I really do mean very, very, very few students.
According to music teacher, Ms. Nichols, last year, 10 students out of the current 11th grade were in the 10th grade music class that would have prepared them for IB music. All these students were there by personal choice. But only 2 of these students actually stayed in music throughout the year. Why only two? Lack of interest? Fear of music itself?
It actually was because only 2 of the original 10 had extensive prior knowledge of music. Those 8 who were transferred out of music were not advanced enough in music before starting the class. Ms. Nichols says that those “students would not have been able to keep up with all parts of IB music in the future, since fifty percent of the requirement is academic.” IB music requires a performance, as well as knowledge of music theory. If they took IB music without outside knowledge of music, “their highest score [on the IB exams] might be a 3 or a 2 at the most,” according to  Ms. Nichols.
Not enough people with broad prior knowledge of music already were fascinated enough by the wonderful world of music to join IB music. To keep IB music running, there would have to be at least 20 kids who were already experienced in music that wanted the class. But “there just were not enough students interested in IB music to warrant that expense,” according to Principal Ms. Johnson By ‘that expense,’ she means the expense of having two music teachers at BSGE. Some of you may know that last year BSGE has two music teachers.             Currently, there is only one; Ms. Nichols. If there were more advanced students interested in taking IB, then we could have kept IB music at BSGE.
It’s not only lack of advanced students and lack of interest that IB music is missing, though. It is the lack of funding. According to Ms. Johnson, “IB music is not being offered this year because of the budget. [BSGE] had to reduce the number of personnel in order to do the basic programs, MYP and IB.”
The low budget combined with really high prices would never allow BSGE 2 music teachers. But with only one music teacher to cover every single music class in the school, scheduling is obviously an issue. And voila! No more IB music at BSGE. So, music is not offered to 10th-12th graders anymore at all.
If, however, in time there is enough funding, IB music may be brought back. But Ms. Johnson says that it’s not likely that there will be more funding anytime soon. So, for those of you whom music is offered to, don’t take it for granted. Later on, your only options are technology and art (which are not any easier)!

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