Cascade Heights Public Charter School

Music at Cascade Heights

14 September 2015 Written by  

We hope your first week of school was as wonderful as it was for us. There is however, one missing piece. No Music teacher.

We have a wonderful specialists staff in PE, Chinese, Spanish and Art but for the first time in ten years we do not have music. Last spring our music teacher left for a full time position, Portland Public School District resurrected their long absent music program and full time music teachers were all of sudden in short commodity.

Music is important to the mission of Cascade Heights because creating, performing and responding to music are the fundamental music processes in which children engage. Students, particularly in grades K-8, learn by doing. Singing, playing instruments, moving to music, and creating music enables students to acquire musical skills and knowledge that can’t be developed in any other discipline. Listening to, analyzing, and evaluating music are also important building blocks of musical learning. Learning to read and notate music provides children with the ability to explore music independently and socially. In addition, to participate fully in a diverse, global society, students must understand their own historical and cultural heritage and those of others within their communities and beyond. Because music is a basic expression of human culture, every student should have access to a balanced, comprehensive, and sequential program of study in music.

This summer we posted our music position on Craig's list, National Alliance of Charter Schools job board, Core Knowledge Foundation job board. We received seven applications and interviewed them all. They were musicians, but not music teachers. Very different. One applicant was qualified but did not have a college degree. Another applicant was a retired 33 year veteran choir teacher who only wanted a middle school choir. We also posted on our website as well as sending letters of inquiry to every music group large and small in the Portland Metro Area (Portland Baroque Orchestra, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland Symphonic Choir, Oregon Symphony, Harmony Road Music and several others. We received only one and he changed his mind before the interview.

This is the current status. As a staff we discussed the options and we have some short term options, but are still looking at long term to build an excellent music program here. We welcome ideas. I have attached the job posting which states orchestra and K-4 only. Band and orchestra are very difficult to find in the same person but we need both.

Kind regards in hopes of a musical future for our children,

Holly Denman
Founding Director

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