Music returns to Chula Vista classrooms after 15 years

VH1 may be major financial backer

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - For the first time in 15 years, music has returned to Chula Vista elementary schools.

In January, six schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District reintroduced music as part of the curriculum.

Under the conducting arm of music teachers like Brent Osner at Rosebank School, the district is slowly bringing music back after budget cuts in the 1990s forced it to be eliminated.

Educators said they are already noticing it is helping the children in other classes.

"Certainly able to correlate math and social studies and all kinds of things," said Osner.

"So far, the data is strong," said Chula Vista Elementary School District Assistant Superintendent John Nelson, Ed.D. "The students that are in the program are outperforming other students a little bit."

The money has come from a number of sources, including the San Diego Youth Symphony and the school district. VH1 may be the biggest backer of music in Chula Vista, as the music cable channel may end up donating more than $1 million in musical instruments to the program.

"Their only requirement is that each school has a full-time music teacher and they'll provide up to $30,000 worth of instruments," said Nelson.

That's $30,000 per school and Chula Vista wants to return music to all 44 of its schools. They hope to re-introduce the classes to one or two schools every year until every student once again has access to music.

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