Music in D159: Soothing to the Ears? Or Unnecessary?

Following the hiring of three new teachers for the District 159 music program, Patch's readers reacted to the news in some different ways. Now Patch wants to hear your opinion on the issue.

Music will once again be filling the halls of Mokena School schools this year, thanks to the recent hiring of two full-time and one part-time teacher, one of whom previously taught in the district. The three teachers will all also teach physical education as well.

The hires were made after the resignation of two teachers who worked in the district last year.

Earlier this week, Patch let our readers know about the recent hires and the resulting comments on both and our Facebook definitely drew our attention.

What do you think? Are music and physical education a necessity, or should they be considered luxuries?

  • 'R. W. Voter' said: “More money down the drain. If a child is interested in music, get him music lessons. Is it mandatory that the children take music, even if they don't want to? Most grammar school children I know want no part of it. Then physical education, another mandate for the children. They wouldn't need P.E. if they took a walk once in a while, or rode their bicycle for miles, or just played baseball in the park, but the summer is almost over and I haven't seen any of the little darlings except for them getting into Mom's car to be driven somewhere.”
  • 'ALS' said: “If schools only taught things that kids "wanted to do or learn" all they would teach all day is video games, naps, and eating junk food. Why even teach them at all, R.W. Voter? Not all children that go to our schools have parents that are educated or financially capable of providing a good home life or well rounded activities. As a society, we have a norm of providing a healthy education. We have schools with teachers because they are educated enough to teach children. Not all parents have the skills to do that.”
  • Lisa DiGiovanni Liptak said: “I think it's great that they have music and PE in the schools. It's a nice break for the students from the other school subjects. PE is important because it gets the students running and moving around. It can be hard for children to contain all that energy sitting at a desk all day. Music is a big part of everyone's life. We listen to music in the car, there's music on television, and I like to turn it up when I'm cleaning. Why not learn about it?”
  • Jen Vestuto said: “My God ..if we only taught our kids what they wanted to learn or where there interest was hmmm yea let me know how ur kids end up ..and sadly most families these days can't afford music lessons and other things...hey just remember that kid taking the music class that ur tax money is going to...might write your next favorite song!”

So what do you think? Do your kids benefit from music and physical education?

Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Sam August 10, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Here we go again. It's one thing for an article itself to spark up debate; it's quite another to encourage people to voice their too-often uneducated, un-cited, and anonymous opinions at each other. Congratulations, Patch! Please continue tearing our community apart.
Laurie Genardo August 10, 2012 at 03:30 AM
As a veteran educator with graduate and post-graduate degrees in learning and curriculum, I can tell you that numerous studies have been done that show that music education is tied to higher cognitive development. Those children who learn to read and play music show greater critical thinking abilities than their peers who do not. In addition, studies have shown that children who study music have higher verbal and mathematical capabilities--not to mention, the therapeutic benefits for special needs children. So essentially, music education should always be included in a child's educational plan. And sorry R.W. Voter, children should be given the opportunity to play music in school--many don't have "the luxuries" that other households do. Public education in the U.S. is not a "luxury" as it is in some countries; it is an expectation and a promise to our children to provide a good education to them regardless of their background. Remember R.W.: Your community is only as good as its school district. If we continue to devalue the importance of education in this community and continually cut programs because the "little darlings" don't need it, you will see Mokena's businesses and YOUR property value sink drastically. Start thinking beyond yourself.
Lauren Traut (Editor) August 10, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Hi, Sam. We're not trying to "tear the community apart." Instead, we thought we'd attempt to start a dialogue and get people talking to each other, discussing an important topic in the community. We noticed there were conversations happening in two different places—offering both differing and similar opinions. Our intention is not to turn people against each other, but rather to inspire discussion and spark people's investment in their community. Sorry you disagree with the post. How would you go about inspiring people to share their thoughts on a community-wide issue? Lauren Traut Associate Regional Editor, Patch.com
GDLV August 10, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I am also a veteran teacher with two graduate degrees, one in Curriculum and another in Educational Administration. I couldn't agree more with Laurie Genardo on the research regarding music education. Not only did I learn the same information in my graduate studies, but I am a product of music education. Regarding physical activity, I would also like to add that in the district that I teach, we strongly encourage students to take part in "Brain Boot Camp" the morning (just hours before) before the ACT and all other standardized testing. "Brain Boot Camp" is a series of organized and fun physical activities (various sports) for the students. The idea behind this is based on actual research that proves that physical activity stimulates the brain waves necessary to boost brain power during tests. Most of us can relate when we feel like our heads are cleared after a good jog or a run, right?
R.W.Voter August 10, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I believe in education, but I don't agree with forcing children to take music and P.E. I think there are more important subjects that that. Math, English, Science and especially reading. Why are children coming out of the District schools and enrolling in JJC having to attend remedial courses. Because you teachers and administrators failed, maybe you were too busy getting those useless post graduate degrees or just worrying about your union contract. Answer me this, why do they have to put pictures on a cash register to show what product to charge for, it is because the young cashier doesn't know any other way. Try this, next time you get your bill at a store, give the cashier the paper money and then say, Wait, and count out some change, the cashier will panic, because they have to figure it out for themselves, the register doesn't tell them. And I will also throw another at you, a large number of bullying incidents happen in the P.E. class. These are the things that the teachers and administrators never see happen. Move back to a solid basic education and we will all be better off. Thank you
Laurie Genardo August 10, 2012 at 04:03 PM
R.W. Voter: Please take a minute to re-read your previous posts. Aside from your own lack of grammatical usage, you are clearly embarrassing yourself with your commentary. You're very transparent (bitter? defensive? ill-informed? or simply looking for constant attention?)--all of which is ironic because you won't reveal your actual name when making these highly derisive comments. Anyone who reads the Patch quickly understands you just love to hear yourself "speak" regardless of what you're saying.
R.W.Voter August 10, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Now let me hear how much more money you could have made if you went into the business world. I feel that the public school system is a poor system, the children do not learn much, and have no discipline. They are poorly trained for the future. There are no standards for pass, fail. I personally know of a young man at Lincoln way, who had to take the English test 4 times before he passed it and he then graduated to JJC remedial Englsih, yeh, you guys are doing a hell of a job. It is all about throw more tax money at it. Just like the Chicago Teachers, "threaten a strike" . Thank you. All that money for about 9 months solid work, you have a great job .
GDLV August 14, 2012 at 04:49 AM
R.W. Voter, I'm sorry you had to take the English test 4 times.
R.W.Voter August 14, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Not me, thank God I never had to attend a Public School. I wouldn't wish that on an enemy. Thank you.
Johnny Stoll August 14, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Ms. Traut, would it not be more unbiased to select equal numbers of pro/con comments to quote in your article? I think so, unless you have a biased agenda? BTW, as a hard charging conservative, I believe the music program, if a quality one, is essential to a child's education. As well as learning a second language. What really needs to be reformed is the emphasis on extra-curricular sports in our school systems. Jocks seem to be even more moronic nowadays. But really, the whole system needs reevaluation, from the whole summer break, to the short days. Life doesn't take summer breaks for three months every year. I always felt like I had to play catch-up going into the next grade, as I forgot many of the lessons taught the year before over that l-o-n-g summer break.
Johnny Stoll August 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I have to laugh, looking at the MPS logo. "Where Children are the First Priority". It comes off kinda badly when I saw the teachers with their picket signs last year outside of MES, walking on Wolf Rd, right up until the first period started, complaining that they're working with no contract. I don't have a contract. Do you? Hellsbelles, I'm under-employed currently, but it's something I'm proud to have, and proud to work for. BTW, both my folks were educated, union govt employees. They both hated the union.


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