Tulsa Public School students are "playing" with an exciting new gift. Cox Communications and VH1's "Save the Music Program" donated nearly $350,000 worth of musical instruments to the district.
The gift means hundreds more children will have access to music education. KOTV went to Lee Elementary School for the announcement. VH1's 'Save the Music' Foundation is working to restore music education in America's public schools, so that more children have access to musical experiences. Their $348,000 donation to Tulsa Public Schools purchased four stringed instrument programs shared among eight elementary schools. Kathy Weinstock King, TPS Music Coordinator: "And then we have eight full electric guitar program, 20 guitars in each, practice pods, a teacher pod, it's incredible."
Tulsa and Oklahoma City are among 43 cities benefiting from 'Save the Music.' Cox Communications worked with Tulsa Public Schools to apply for the grant, which boosts the districtâ€™s goal to offer orchestral programs in all elementary schools. Sponsors say the research validates the benefits of arts education. John Bowen, Cox General Manager: "People that participate have a higher self esteem of themselves, they do better on standardized tests, and they tend to read better.â€ Michael Armstrong with VH1: "Just being involved in music education and the time and commitment it takes we find steers kinds away from undesirable activities."
Lee 4th grader Sam Foster hopes to be a concert violinist, so he's happy about the new instruments, and recommends other kids give it a try. "If you really want to do it, it will really be fun for you, and it could help them get their grades up because they would be happier than they might be before.â€ Just as music usually makes all of us.