District 8 representative Frank Myers indeed participated in the Muscogee County School Board’s xylophone lesson during Monday’s work session. He was absent when the Ledger-Enquirer recorded the video.
“I was there from the very beginning,” Myers told the L-E Thursday. “By the time you shot video, I had spent at least 10 minutes up there trying to play the musical instrument.”
Myers said he left the board room to take care of a more pressing need.
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“I think the teacher and I realized he wasn’t going to make a Beethoven out of me, so decided to go to the bathroom and get some water,” Myers said. “I profusely thanked the teacher, but it just wasn’t going to happen.
“I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud, but we need to focus on more important issues.”
Here’s the original story:
For those wondering when the Muscogee County School Board ever will be in harmony, members literally had their chance Monday evening.
During the board’s work session, some of the district’s music teachers, led by Mark Montgomery of Clubview Elementary School, guided the board, superintendent David Lewis and his cabinet members through a xylophone lesson.
Robbie Holt, MCSD’s arts and humanities director, said the purpose of the “structured chaos” was to demonstrate “fun in learning and collaboration as a process that we use for instruction in the classroom.”
Several folks in the audience whipped out their electronic devices to record the potentially newsworthy moment. After all, District 8 representative Frank Myers was given a mallet.
But at least in the Ledger-Enquirer’s video, available on our website and Facebook page, Myers wasn’t seen as a participant. Instead, he posted on his Facebook page a photo of the marimba placed at his seat, along with this comment:
“In tonight's episode of the Muscogee County School Board, to avoid the contentious subject of our district's high percentage of perpetually failing schools, board members will perform some impromptu numbers on the xylophone.
“You can't make this up.”
So, while Myers rained on this parade, board members and district officials played the pentatonic scales from “Rain on the Green Grass.”
Nonetheless, the performance unleashed laughter where the board had just engaged in a tense debate about the calendars for the next two school years.
Holt thanked participants for “being good sports,” and used statistics to describe the district’s growth in the arts since June 2014:
▪ The number of full-time art and music teachers in the district’s 32 elementary schools has increased from two to 14. Those are Blanchard, Brewer, Britt David, Clubview, Dorothy Height, Eagle Ridge, Georgetown, Martin Luther King Jr., Mathews, Midland, North Columbus, Reese Road, Waddell and Wynnton.
▪ Orchestra is now offered in all 12 middle schools and all nine high schools.
▪ Drama programs are now offered at Blackmon Road, Fort, Richards and Veterans Memorial middle schools and Carver, Columbus, Hardaway, Jordan, Northside, Shaw and Spencer high schools.
▪ Ground has been broken on the $36 million project that will construct an arts academy for grades 6-12, scheduled to open for the start of the 2017-18 school year.