Music returns to elementary school

The elementary band program was dearly missed.

RYAN WILLMAN

Arrow Lakes News

A few years ago, Nakusp Secondary School changed their timetable from a traditional Monday to Friday format into a rotating eight-day, eight-block model. This switch was made with the intention to meet the perceived student’s need for variety and to avoid the monotony of facing the same teacher conducting the same course on the same day at the same time every week for the duration of the school year. The unfortunate byproduct of the rescheduling was the cessation of the elementary band program due to the incompatibility of the high school timetable with the elementary model, which relies on set routine and structure.

The elementary band program was dearly missed, and when current Nakups Elementary School (NES) principal Susan Paterson transitioned from the high school to the elementary, she “knew the music had to come back.”

“It’s been cooking in my head for a long time,” Paterson commented. “Parents were asking for the return of the program and when the school district sent out their budget survey last year, the desire for music in the school was clear.”

Once planning for music’s return to NES began, “everything sort of jived.” Paterson explained, “It’s working because of (Patrick MaGibbon)’s skill level and his willingness to take this on, and at the high school Natasha did an amazing scheduling job so Patrick is free in the afternoons to be in the elementary.”

With the scheduling in place, and all of the staffing details worked out, high school band teacher, Patrick MaGibbon, networked with former band teacher Lisa Ante and together they decided to initiate the Music Play program for Kindergarten to Grade 5 students. Grade 6 and 7 will be working on the Beginner Band program.

“We are just at the beginning,” Paterson admitted, “but I see such potential. Music in the school just adds to the heart of the community.”