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Putting words to music -- Rick's Musical sponsors student essay contest

December 29, 2010

CUMBERLAND – There are plenty of good reasons for teaching instrumental music and chorus in secondary schools, and the students enrolled in them are more than happy to share a few.
“Other classes teach independence and therefore cannot compare with band and chorus classes,” says Kristen Rodriguez of Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket. “If someone fails an English test and another person receives a perfect score, the person who aced the test is not affected by the person who failed it. Unlike other classes, band and chorus teach the value of interdependence.”
Christina Lussier of Woonsocket Middle Schools says, “If we didn't have band or chorus in schools, many children would be unhappy and even depressed.”
And if the purpose of education is to help individuals learn to think, well, Chani Schochet of Providence Hebrew Day School says schools can hardly do without a music program.
“One reason is, that it is scientifically proven that music helps a person's brain,” says Schochet. “Music helps a person think more clearly.”
But these students aren't trumpeting the virtues of music just to flex their rhetorical muscles. They decided to test their powers of persuasion in an essay contest sponsored by Rick's Musical Instruments of 10 Nate Whipple Highway.
The mutual brainchild of proprietor Rick Verfaille and Sue Tessier-McKenzie, advertising representative for The Call, the essay contest was conceived as a counterweight to the growing inclination of cash-strapped school districts to sacrifice music programs on the altar of the bottom line.
“Some kids just need music,” says Verfaille. “That's the way they relax and the way they learn. I understand school departments need to cut here and there, but they can't be cutting music.”
In addition to making a point about music education, the winner of the essay contest will win a credit up to $1,000 at Rick's. The money can be used for the lease or purchase of musical instruments or related equipment, he says.
“They can buy something halfway decent with that or use it for a bunch of accessories,” says Verfaille, who's been supplying schools with musical instruments since 1993.
Why, with lease-to-own programs starting at just $17 a month, a $1,000 stipend is enough to keep a handful of musicians in the band for the whole school year, says Verfaille.
The deal was offered to dozens of schools from Rhode Island and Massachusetts that Rick's already supplies with band and chorus gear – perhaps 50 in all. But only eight took on the essay challenge – Woonsocket High School, Woonsocket Middle School, Providence Hebrew Day School, Middletown High School, Dedham High School, Cumberland High School, Mount St. Charles Academy and Burrillville High School.
“They just ran with it,” says Verfaille. “They all want to be helped out to some degree and the ones that don't want to be helped out, they didn't submit an essay.”
The essays have been posted online at Rick's website, which can be found by googling Rick's Musical Instruments. Readers are invited to vote for their favorite by e-mailing
The store will kick in one “scholarship dollar” for each vote cast for the winning essay, up to a maximum of $1,000. Just to keep things interesting, the store is maintaining a graph where visitors to the website can monitor the progress of voting.
Full disclosure: As of this writing, Mount St. Charles Academy was in the lead – WAY in the lead – with over 200 votes. Dedham High School was running a distant second, and everybody else was lagging well behind that.
But it's not too late to turn things around. The voting period is open until Jan. 9. The winning essay will be announced at the store at 5 p.m. the following day, and Verfaille is hoping all the competing essayists and their cheerleaders will be on hand to celebrate.


to enhance the skills for

May 16, 2012 by franksmith366 (not verified), 3 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 1307

to enhance the skills for essay writing in such a way is a great thing to do.

It's always good to teach

May 12, 2011 by Woon So (not verified), 4 years 15 weeks ago
Comment: 392

It's always good to teach students to write custom research papers.


April 11, 2011 by Marry (not verified), 4 years 20 weeks ago
Comment: 289

Interesting article.
essay writer


April 11, 2011 by Wendi (not verified), 4 years 20 weeks ago
Comment: 288

It's not so easy to learn how play on the guitar. First of all you need to read purchase essay about all rules. And than start to learning.

Musical programs and lessons

January 23, 2011 by HollyLitchfield (not verified), 4 years 31 weeks ago
Comment: 173

Musical programs and lessons in school are indeed one way of somehow making the students relax and don't think of academic stuff that stresses them. I can't imagine a school without a music class. I think that's very lifeless.

If I have much, I think I'm gonna sponsor also to a contest who aims to help an academic organization like this. Sponsoring an essay contest would not just exercise and test student's writing dexterity, it would also help a musical organization to buy the necessary equipments they need to continue their dreams and desires.

I think essay contest like

January 22, 2011 by luke1 (not verified), 4 years 31 weeks ago
Comment: 170

I think essay contest like this are a good exercise for kids writing skills and they get a chance to show their creative writing and thoughts in a professional manner , I highly appreciate this effort and look forward for more such contests.
Luke from essay writing help

This essay contest is very

January 19, 2011 by seoaddiction (not verified), 4 years 31 weeks ago
Comment: 168

This essay contest is very effective for college students.

Rick's Music

December 29, 2010 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 4 years 34 weeks ago
Comment: 147

I commend Rick's Music for sponsoring an event like this. As a guitarist myself, I think it's very important to keep music in our schools. Learning how to play a instrument gives a child a sense of achievement and pride in oneself, and keeps them off the streets. Why couldn't a huge retailer like Guitar Center sponsor something like this though? You would think that the Bain Corporation, which owns the GC chain, that is owned by Massachusett's own Mitt Rommney,would jump at the chance to do something like this. This is why I support the Mom and Pop music stores and not chains like Guitar Center. Keep the Music in our schools people!!!!

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