The slow demise of education

    Greetings from the Ridge.
    My high school band teacher was a madman. I mean that in the kindest possible way, but he was the terror of our little high school. I doubt we had much over a hundred kids in the school but around forty of them were in the music program. It was just the thing to do. Math, civics, and English were all necessary, but an arts education was every bit as essential. Even sports were regarded as something that would be useful until the age of 25 when your knees gave out, but music and the associated creative courses were something that not only lasted a lifetime but greatly improved the quality of our lives. This was just before the Russians sent a rocket into space and we had to become scientists.
    The musical madman was a demanding teacher. We’d leave the rehearsal room each week with new tales of him throwing batons, kicking music stands, and berating trumpet players for their lack of practice. I was a trumpet player and it only took one glare from Mr. Neil to send me ducking under my copy of The Stars and Stripes Forever. The result of all this shouting and bloodshed? A generation of kids with a respect for the arts, an appreciation for excellence, and a work ethic that would stay with us for the rest of our lives.

  To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.