Xochitl Magaly Perales 
Member since Jun 2, 2012


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Re: “Churn and Burn at the Young Musicians Program

Although my son didn't attend YMP, he did audition, made it through the first round, and went through the interview process, where he, I, and several other children and their parents got interviewed all together. I was completely turned off by the questions and comments that Ms. Newman made, such as asking the children if any of them had ever been sent to the principal's office. My son, then a 5th grader, admitted that he had been sent when he was in kindergarten and first grade, and another kid said something similar. Ms. Newman gave both children very stern looks as they slumped in their seats, and then moved on to other questions.

Ms. Newman also made it clear that she had a perfect record of getting YMP students into college, and that she wasn't willing to ruin that record, which is why, if a student misbehaved, or got bad grades, they would be kicked out of the program. I thought to myself that it would be very easy to have a "perfect" record of getting kids into college if you kicked out all the kids who might have a more difficult time getting into college.

Also, as an example of bad behavior, Ms. Newman said that students would be on their best behavior during the interview process, then, once they were accepted into YMP, they wouldn't be able to sit still in their seats. I couldn't believe that not sitting still would be grounds for being kicked out! Especially for boys, and especially if they had special needs, such as ADHD or OCD -- which is very common for young musicians.

Luckily, my son and I decided that YMP wasn't a good fit for us, and so we didn't experience the worst of Ms. Newman. But I've heard plenty of stories from other parents, such as a friend of mine, whose daughter got kicked out for talking in class. Although the daughter had been warned once before about talking, my friend had absolutely no idea that her daughter had been warned, nor that she was in danger of being kicked out. My friend was really shocked to be told by Ms. Newman that her daughter's bad behavior was a reflection of bad parenting, and that she didn't belong at YMP.

I feel for everyone who has had to deal with Ms. Newman, and hope that something gets done to make YMP into the great program it used to be.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Xochitl Magaly Perales on 06/02/2012 at 11:32 PM

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