Local musicians plan music tutoring program at schools - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Local musicians plan music tutoring program at schools

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CRAB ORCHARD -- A local school teacher and musician wants to bring back music programs in schools that can't afford to keep them.

That includes the Crab Orchard school district, where Principal Sy Stone had to cut his school's music program six years ago.

"Nobody's going to be able to justify keeping music and cutting math, language arts, social studies or science," Stone said. "Like it or not, those are the programs that always go first and those are probably, in some schools, the most important programs for young learners."

Stone said it was a decision he didn't take lightly.

"It's one of those arts that all kids need," Stone said. "They need some experience in music and music appreciation just the same as they do art, same as they do math and English and everything else."

Craig Tessone, an Akin Grade School teacher and musician, wants to bring students that experience by bringing music back to schools.

"It has taken me to places I've never dreamed of," Tessone said. "I've gotten to sing and perform in front of lots of people. I've written original songs and gotten to record in Nashville."

Tessone said his tutoring program remains in the planning stages but he hopes to teach groups of 15 kids once a week at several schools.

"Right now what we're doing is kind of assessing the need in the schools and we're going to get some ideas and grow from there," Tessone said.

Tessone is also working with Akin and Galatia schools to teach music to students in grades 4 through 12.

Matt Throgmorton, owner of Byassee Music and Sound in Marion is partnering with Tessone for the program.

Principal Stone tested interest last week with a flier to parents.

"We're just excited that somebody's going to take the time and willing to come into their schools and do that," Stone said. "Community's a big part of public school anyways. It's their school, not ours."

He hopes enough parents sign up to justify the program.

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