Making kids sing: By donating instruments
Manilow, who has a concert at the Verizon Wireless Arena on May 9, has donated a piano to the Manchester Public Schools. He wants others to donate instruments, too. His incentive: donate a new or gently used instrument, get two free tickets to his show.
We know, we know. This is really good publicity for his show. It also is good for a city school system that has struggled with tight budgets for several years. If Manilow's instrument drive makes more people aware of his show and sells a few more concert tickets, good for him. There is nothing wrong with doing well by doing good.
Nor is there anything wrong with public schools acquiring equipment via donations or sponsorships. They ought to do more of it.
Manchester's school board finally has agreed to raise money by selling advertisements on school property. Some say that taxes should be raised so schools do not have to do these things. The reverse is true. They should do these things so that taxes do not have to be raised.
Manilow does these instrument drives regularly. He believes that music education is important and should be a regular part of a general education. He is right. But that does not mean that schools should not seek voluntary sources of funding for it so they can minimize the local tax burden.
This kind of donation has been done before around these parts. In 2010, Fidelity donated $20,000 worth of instruments to the Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School in Nashua.
Initiatives like these might not make the whole world sing, but they make music education a possibility for children who otherwise might never get it. That's worth recognizing, and assisting.