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NEW YORK STATE: Louder chorus needed for music

Members of the Westfield Academy & Central Schools are striking all the right notes. If sports can come back during the COVID-19 pandemic, why not the music program? Last month, music teacher Helen Ihasz called the school board — and state — to allow bands and choruses to be able to perform again in closer quarters.

“I think if high risk sports are going to happen, then we need to make some changes,” she said. “All band directors feel that this has been a struggle. My kids really want to play.”

A return of sports, as we have seen, has not been perfect. Attendance is not allowed while some local teams have had to go into quarantine due to a risk of infection.

Let’s face it. If it can happen with million-dollar professionals, it’s likely to occur with youth.

Which makes Westfield’s plea for the music so significant. Currently, the state requires 12-foot spacing. This limits participation and, as the board noted is “killing music education.”

Those restrictions are obviously not being enforced with sports. If they did, competition would be very strange.

That is why it is time for New York, with school music, to change its tune.

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