Glee Give a Note: Music and Art Funding

By: Stephanie Hastings Email
By: Stephanie Hastings Email

High school senior Jamesom Maxwell hopes to attend Abilene Christian College and study architecture.

Right now, he is a senior trumpet player in the Sherman high school jazz band.

Being part of band has made him more than a musician, said Maxwell.

"It's really helped in my leadership skills. Just because I’ve been in leadership for the past two years," said Maxwell.

The students the Sherman high school band do not just learn to play an instrument, because music education gives them skills for living, said Sherman high school band director, Ryan Jenkins.

"When it comes to music, it kind of speaks to a person's soul. It does something to that child that helps them develop a little quicker. And I see a lot of my kids end up in the top 10 percent of their classes, said Jenkins.

It’s not only music that inspires life.

Theatre and art play a role in the work of scientists and engineers, said Dr. Kirk Everist, Associate Professor of Theatre at Austin College.

Dr. Everist tells the story of late Apple founder Steve Jobs whose brilliant engineering was inspired through a single calligraphy class.

"It changed his concept of design and you can see that concept of design in every apple product, one of the most important companies in the world. Some of the most extraordinary hat you will see in the history of human and its influenced by an artistic sensibility," said Dr. Everist.

In 2011, lawmakers in Texas cut $4-billion dollars from public school funding, leaving the fine arts and music programs vulnerable to cuts.

As the Sherman high school music program continues to grow, funding cuts make outfitting all 190 students difficult, said Jenkins.

"Everything that we've got we're very proud of and very blessed that we have, but it's tough to stretch a dollar these days,” said Jenkins.

Now, the popular Fox show “Glee” is trying to help promote high school arts programs.

Over the last two weeks, the show has focused how public school arts programs struggle to survive in face of funding cuts.

However, Jamesom Maxwell said he's motivated keep practicing his trumpet and striving with his band to be the best.

"Just knowing that we have stuff we can improve on, and beat all the other bands,” said Maxwell.

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