Band, choir aren’t extracurricular activities
I think that it is a wonderful idea to get students more connected with school through extra-curricular activities at Century High School, where I also teach.
However, the picture that ran with the editorial is misleading. The Century bands do provide entertainment at athletic events (an extra-curricular activity); however, band, orchestra and choir in the Rochester public high schools are not extra-curricular activities. Music is a curricular subject, for which students receive credit toward graduation.
One year of music also fills the state mandated fine-arts requirement for graduation. A student must be registered in band to participate in its co-curricular activities, which include marching band during football season, and pep bands for other sports.
I teach many of my students for four years which provides a connectedness to school that they might not find elsewhere, and it happens during the school day! In addition to its own intrinsic worth, research also proves that there is a strong correlation between music and academic success. If we want students to "get smart," then our music programs need to be supported and expanded rather than being one of the first subjects on the chopping block whenever dollars are short.
The picture with the editorial is a band class, not an extra-curricular or co-curricular. To compare this with a card game is ludicrous.
Director of Century and Mayo Orchestras