In the spring of 2011, Katy ISD appears to have cut every band program staff by one teacher.  I'm not of the opinion that they needed to do that, based upon a look at the Power Point Presentation made by Dr. Debbie Harris which clearly shows as far as I am concerned that the Board was acting upon her bad information that said the District would have a shortfall of millions of dollars EACH year of the legislative biennium when in fact the shortfall covered TWO years. [I would like to impress upon the reader the seriousness of the FACT that the Head of Human Resources, the Superintendent, and SEVEN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS are too dumb to know that Texas has a Biennial Legislature!!  That is truly stunning, and it cost almost 400 (as best we can tell) employees (mostly teachers) their jobs.  Eventually Dr. Harris was the scapegoat, and she lost her job too.]


A recent award for the music program for KISD has been received.  Like most other awards that KISD gets, this one too is not based purely upon subject matter--in this case musical matter. 

In this era of social equality, the factors underscoring this aspect may be primary.  Look for yourself:

{They've taken down the page--as usual.  They don't want the public to see what this is.  In my opinion this organization is NOT about the music, but how it is used to further a cause. Visit their web site, and one can see what this about:


The Katy ISD Fine Arts program has been given every advantage.  I hope that the concert halls that were built several years ago were not JUST for show but were actually made for real use by those for whom they were designed.  They were terribly expensive to build. They cost $1.71 per square foot to build!  When I was on the Board in the 1990's I had to fight just to get the District to put locks on the doors of the instrument cabinets at Mayde Creek High School.  I do not believe that the Superintendent or the School Board truly care about the fine arts programs in our school district. 

I've always supported the Fine Arts Program in our schools.  My mother was a public school vocal music teacher in a Texas  public school. We had a grand piano and an organ in our front room!  I grew up playing the piano, singing in choirs, was in the A cappella choir in high school, and many church choirs; I won the Modern Dance Award in high school, took art, piano, and violin lessons, ballet and tap dance lessons, and voice lessons as a kid, and I majored in Dance at TWU for two years.  I have supported the Houston ISD High School for the Performing Arts with my money, my attendance at their programs, and in letters to the HISD School Board and the Houston Chronicle in an effort to get them to build a new HSPVA school.  I think I have a valid and verifiable interest in the fine arts!

KISD's Fine Arts program has improved greatly over the years thanks to the person in charge of it.  When I was on the Board twenty years ago,  no one from Katy ISD qualified to go to the TMEA competition and concerts in San Antonio every year.  I knew about those because my niece and nephew were chosen to go from El Paso ISD--one of them for three years and the other for four years, and we went to see them perform several times. KISD's music program has come a long way since then.

Unfortunately I also am aware of the fact that increasing the size of music programs in our public schools is one of the tenets of the School to Work law that the Federal Government passed in the 1990's.  If the agenda is to dumb down our students, (as Jack Christie, a member of the State Board of Education (and now a Houston City Council member) put it--"we don't need highly educated individuals anymore, we need 85% of our students trained so they can go to work right out of high school.")  If students get interested in musical careers, that takes them out of the academic pool, and then they too become just part of the work force.  And yes, I know that sounds diabolical, but it is true. Usually students in the fine arts are intelligent and make good grades in ALL their subjects, but if they are directed to follow a musical profession, I believe that their interests wane regarding other academic subjects, leaving them not prepared for an academic major in college.

The Fine Arts should be an ancillary practice that enhances people's lives, but unless one is very very very good at playing an instrument, or singing, or dancing, one should not chase a career in the Fine Arts!  Does the reader know how many slots there are for a flute player in any major American symphony? Does he know how many symphonies bit the dust when Obama yanked the rug out from under our economy?  The odds of garnering a position in an orchestra are worse than the odds for playing in the NFL or the Major Leagues or the NBA. 

Of importance I think is the understanding that one must have about what the term "fine arts" constitutes.  The fine arts are composed of "art that is produced more for beauty or spiritual significance than for physical utility. Painting, sculpture, and music are fine arts."  (A lot of other things are CALLED fine arts, but they are NOT fine arts.) This is a quotation from The Dictionary of  Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett and James Trefil. 

The Fine Arts should have a place in every person's life, but please, don't encourage your child to the distraction of his academic studies. Some students can do both, and many use their musical talents to get in to a great university, but that is difficult also. I've known students at Rice who had a double major in music and engineering just to keep the music scholarship to pay for the college because they wanted to be engineers, not musicians, but that's a hard task.  If your child is not up to that, he/she will NOT be able to make a decent living without being subsidized unless he/she becomes a one in a million musician or a teacher.  Check the odds.

That's just my opinion!

1.  Ramnath Subramanian on Fine Arts