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Strike up the bands. More elementary school children will be making music.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has approved a plan to spend more than a quarter of a million dollars on instruments, so elementary students can expand their musical horizons.

The allotment, totaling $355,729, will be spent on hundreds of flutes, clarinets, saxophones, cornets, trombones and tubas. The instruments will be used by students in grades three through six and will be available on the first day of instruction when school starts next August, the district said in a statement.

To get the most music for its bucks, officials will buy “affordable, durable instruments that are easy to repair and are best suited for the distinctive demands of elementary children,” the district said. “It’s all about giving more children the opportunity to play.”

Officials say it’s nice to see the board make a commitment to music education.

“I am thankful for the all of the efforts of the LAUSD to build capacity for music education in our schools,” Fifth District board member Ref Rodriguez said in a statement. “Because of the work of the Arts Education Department, over 30 elementary schools in my board district alone will be given greater music access.”

Board member Mónica Ratliff’s District 6 includes portions of the San Fernando Valley.

“I am thrilled that we are dedicating funds to provide more musical instruments to our schools and, most importantly, our students. My constituents made it very clear to me that they want the district to focus on increasing student access to arts instruction,” she said in a statement.

She also expressed excitement that officials, including Superintendent Michelle King and Arts Education Executive Director Rory Pullens are committed to the arts.

The money will help the district’s Unified Arts Education Branch strengthen the current elementary orchestral music programs.

The children will also benefit from an increase in the scope, sequence and depth of instruction. The young students will be taught the basics, a wider repertoire of children’s classics and a diverse selection of musical genres, the district said.


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