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Letters


To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing to urge you to vote in favor of maintaining and enriching the Music Therapy Department.

When my daughter first told me that she was interested in music therapy I didn't know anything about the subject, but through the process of researching and finding a college for her I have gained a whole new admiration for the field.

My daughter Iansa Zaldarriaga is a freshman in the Music Therapy program at Eau Claire. She applied to six different colleges that offer degrees in music therapy and was accepted at five. She was offered substantial scholarships at two of the five (not Eau Claire) and she chose UW/Eau Claire because of the quality of the program and the commitment to excellence demonstrated by Lee Anna Rasar, the department head.

I was privileged to observe first hand the program at work. Last spring Iansa and I went with the Lee Anna and her students to the nursing home while they worked with patients experiencing dementia.

I was moved to tears (literally) to see how the patients responded to their work. I realized how important music is for our quality of life.

I really would hate to see this valuable program excessed from the University's offerings. On the contrary, I would like to see it expanded with more faculty.

Thank you,
Cecilia Schiller
St. Paul, MN




To Whom It May Concern:

I am the father of a freshman who is very driven to join UWEC's music therapy program. Hearing of the program's possible demise has been devastating to her and shocking to me. To stop supporting a unique and successful program that takes the wonders of the fine arts and molds it into an applied science that can reach those most in need flies in the face of what I've come to learn UW-EC is all about: research, teaching and community service. There has to be a way to correct this course of action.

I am privileged to have served on the Muskego-Norway K-12 school board for the past seven years, so I appreciate the difficulties of public financing as K-12 has been particularly hard hit over the past decade, forcing us to make difficult decisions. However, in my time on our board, despite funding hurdles, we have managed to nurture and grow our fine arts program. In fact, we've built a new performing arts center, hired additional faculty and have seen the program more than double in size over the past seven years. Indeed, our music program shows signs of becoming a magnet, increasing our enrollment and easing our budgetary limitations.

Why do this in the midst of continued budget tightening? Because the arts provide a special, integrated way to develop a student's language, abstract thought, social and even emotional skills. Music is a uniquely human and humanizing endeavor. It is little wonder, then, that music therapy has found success in reaching those people most in need of help living with special needs.

As a parent, as a fellow taxpayer and as someone with a vested interest in continuing the proud educational traditions of Wisconsin, I would encourage you to keep this small but critical program alive and thriving. Investing in our Music Therapy program is an investment not only in our students' future, but in the future of those who would receive much needed assistance from them. It should continue to be a beacon to the rest of Wisconsin and the region for the distinctive programs Eau Claire has to offer our students and our society.

I know budgetary constraints are challenging. I also know, from personal experience, that there is always a way, even in difficult fiscal times, to invest in those things that really matter. This program matters enough to save.

Most sincerely,

Mark Waltz
UWEC parent, Wisconsin K-12 School Board member

W195 S8630 Plum Creek Blvd.
Muskego, WI 53150
(262) 679-9166




10/6/07

Subject: In support of UWEC Music Therapy Program

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing in support of the awesome Music Therapy Program at UWEC that I've learned is in jeopardy of being eliminated. This is very disturbing to me.

My daughter is a student who chose to attend school at UWEC specifically because of the outstanding Music Therapy Program in Eau Claire. Her education in this field has been an experience of a lifetime over the past 4 years and thanks to the excellent faculty and dedicated leadership of the Music Therapy Program at UWEC, I know my daughter is receiving an excellent education in this very valuable field.

As a nurse and mother of a son who was cognitively and physically disabled, I know the power and benefits of music and the need for music therapists. This past March when my son was terminally ill at home, the UWEC Music Therapy program gave him a keyboard that he thoroughly helped him to enjoy the last weeks of his life. It has since been donated to his high school special education classroom and is used on a daily basis.

To eliminate the Music Therapy Program at UWEC would be a tragedy and a real loss to the entire community as well as future Music Therapy students deprived of access to the outstanding education in this major now offered at UWEC. Please do not let this happen.

Sincerely,

Ms. Judy R. Morvak
3917 Cty. Road B
Manitowoc, WI 54220




I am writing to express my concern regarding the termination of the music therapy program offered at UW-Eau Claire. When my daughter began contemplating her future several years ago I had little knowledge of music therapy. As she searched for a major that would incorporate her love of music, she was faced with many options. Not having an interest in moving in the direction of music education and hesitant to pursue a career in music performance, she came across the field of music therapy. After much research she decided this was exactly what she wanted to do with her future. The reputation of UW Eau Claire's music department drew her to investigate the music therapy program offered there. We were all impressed with the quality of the program, the history of music therapy at UW Eau Claire, the on-site clinic with suspended floor for bringing the healing properties of music to the deaf and autistic, the many opportunities for advancement of the program through grants, and the successful placement of graduates from the program.

Our daughter entered the program in the fall of 2005 and it has changed her life. As a middle and high school student our daughter's only real passion was music. Since beginning her journey as a music therapy major her passion has come to include pursuing a career that involves helping and improving the lives of others. She is very dedicated to her chosen field and we have seen amazing changes in her life. Lee Anna Rasar and the music therapy program have been extremely influential in giving our daughter a passion for her future and for helping people through music.

If you would take the time to investigate and listen to the public, you will find that the benefits to the local community and beyond have been numerous, thanks to the music therapy program and the dedication of Lee Anna Rasar and her students (past and present). It is my understanding that the music therapy program in Eau Claire has had a great impact on, and has been praised by, relatives of former chancellor, Leonard Haas.

At a time when universities and the population as a whole should be looking at what we can do to better our society by molding students into caring, compassionate adults who can look beyond and overcome the prevalent "it's all about me" attitudes of society, it would be wise to look at helping the music therapy program advance and grow. This program has made Eau Claire nationally recognized and has brought many talented students to the school. UW Eau Claire is the only venue in the UW system offering a music therapy major. The only other college in Wisconsin to offer the program is Alverno. For students looking to attend public universities their only option would be to enroll in out of state universities if this program is cut from the curriculum. It is stated that eliminating the program is due to budget cuts and finances, yet these talented students will be forced to take their tuition dollars to other states and out of the UW system.

Please reconsider your plans to eliminate this program and look into the benefits that will be reaped by continuing and strongly supporting music therapy at UW Eau Claire.

Thank you,
Janet Halfman
cjhalfman@hotmail.com




To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing as a pastor in the United Methodist Church system. I have a deep concern and passion for the helping professions. The news that your music therapy department is under review with the possibility of being cut I feel has grave implications not only on your community but on the entire region. We live in a stressful time. Many people do not have the resources to cope. Your fall 2007 magazine for alumni and friends, "The View" has as its lead article, "Easing the Plight of the Displaced." The music therapy students and Lee Anna deal directly with the people of which this article speaks. Linda Hoover has traveled the world, but there is much work to be done in the Chippewa Valley region and the United States. The work being done by this one professor is outstanding. She has gifts and talents that are driving the program beyond the normal scope. It would be to the university's benefit and to the community's advantage to expand this program. This would require financial support as well as the backing of the upper echelon. I truly believe the growth would amaze you all. A program cannot thrive when it is constantly under scrutiny.

You are preparing students for worldwide service that begins in Eau Claire. They are being trained to assess and develop plans for helping people become all that God intended for them to be. I do not write this as a bleeding heart. I believe in this program and the work that is being done here in the music therapy program. It is a quality program under the direction of a woman of integrity. I recommend that you retain music therapy and reevaluate the reasons that it is always under scrutiny. May it's truth prevail.

Sincerely Yours,
Pastor Pam Rossmiller




To Whom It May Concern,

I am an alumni of UWEC. I have been a financial supporter of this university for many years. My daughter is in her junior year in the music therapy program. I am writing to encourage you to retain this program. In your strategic planning goals (2.1) you emphasize the need for a stronger regional presence. This program is unique in its offering and is an enrichment to the overall music department. Our family has a high regard for the importance of music for one's overall wellbeing. However, a program that seeks only to entertain and removes the department that is using music for direct healing and public service is misguided. This program gets students and their expertise into the community where they are among the citizens (another of your stregic planning goals). The impact on the elderly, the local jail population and the marginalized can not always be measured - but it is significant.

This program has been under review every year since 2005, when our daughter began. This is a program to be valued with the entire support of the university. The truth of the financial status, the impact of the students and their professor on the community and the way the heads of the department portray music therapy need to be evaluated. I would like to continue to support a university with integrity. I recommend that you fully support and continue the music therapy program.

Sincerely,
Vann Rossmiller (alumni from 1965-69, business department)




My daughter, Emily Mattheisen, is in her third year as a music therapy major. Emily is one of UWEC's biggest advocates and speaks highly of the quality of the curriculum, the reputation of the Music Therapy program in the industry, the hands on opportunities to practice in her field, and the community that supports and encourages this program. I do not believe she would get this type of education at another university.

I know how devastating this would be to Emily and her classmates who feel so passionate about this program and the affects if the program is longer offered. I am writing this in the hopes that those who are making the decisions, regarding the future of the music therapy program, will look at the whole picture and the consequences of not offering this valuable program. This would be a huge loss to the students, the University, and the community. This program needs to stay as part of the UWEC curriculum.

Lois Mattheisen
10038 Irwin Circle
Bloomington, MN 55437
952-994-4951




Good morning,

I am writing to you today to express my support for the Music Therapy program at the University of WI Eau Claire. My daughter has always been involved in music in one way or another. She has a natural gift and has learned early in life that music has therapeutic qualities. She comes from a family of nurses, teachers, and criminal justice majors who have encouraged her to pursue this field. For they know first hand, the benefits of music and how it helps the people they work with. When our daughter was a senior in high school, her aunt developed terminal breast cancer. We saw that the local hospital offered a Cancer Music Therapy session. We attended and were amazed by what could be achieved. It opened a door for our daughter. Imagine, finding a field to help people by something you considered one of the most important things in your life - Music. I am shocked that your college would cut such a worth while program. There are not many schools that offer this degree in the mid-west. We checked.

Eau Claire was suggested by my sister who is an alumni of UWEC where she earned a Bachelor and Masters degree in Music. We were honored and very proud when our daughter was accepted into the program. Please reconsider cutting this program. There is such a need for trained people in this field. Your school should be proud to offer it and should continue to do so. We as tax payers expect our colleges to work past budget cuts and offer what is important to society. Colleges should not be run like corporations. We expect more from you. We are depending on the young people of this country to do wonderful things. Please allow them that chance.

I ask you to please continue this program.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Bernie Marie Laurich

blaurich@frpaper.com




To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to express my support of the music therapy program at the University of Eau Claire. I believe it would be a great loss to the university and the surrounding communities if this program should be eliminated. My daughter is currently a student at UWEC enrolled in this program. I admire Prof Rasar and everyone of these dedicated students who have chosen to give of themselves to help so many others. I know first hand what music can do for a person with disabilities, as my son has many. There are thousands of people in this nation who can only benefit from the outstanding work these people do.

Thank You,
Jean Olson
Park Falls, WI




To all:

I am writing because my daughter is a new student in the Music Therapy program at Eau Claire. I was informed that this program is in danger of being discontinued and I am writing to tell you that I think this is a big mistake. Too many times in education, decisions are made because of budget numbers and the real cost is never (and probably cannot be) calculated. To say that this is a useful and worthwhile program is an understatement and I am sure that you all know that. Music therapy benefits patients with all kinds of diseases and conditions and in ways that many of us do not understand and also in ways that have yet to be discovered. To deny this type of training to students in the University of Wisconsin college system is terrible shame. If the football program were to be cut there would be riots in the streets. It would be interesting to compare the cost of the Music Therapy program to the cost of running and maintaining football at Eau Claire. And this is coming from a former football player.

Included below is an article about John Mellencamp performing for rehabilitating troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. If you were not aware, Mellencamp is a recipient of the Nordoff Robbins Silver Clef Award for his involvement with music therapy for handicapped and autistic children. If you read the article below, you can see how a simple music performance can left the spirits of seriously injured patients. With injured and disabled troops coming home every day, we need many more Music Therapy graduates, not less.

Please consider keeping this very worthwhile program alive and running.

Sincerely,
Jeff Laurich
2309 West Cortland drive
Appleton, WI 54914
920-738-6782
laurich@fvtc.edu

"Troop Therapy" article


Good Afternoon:

It has come to my attention that the Music Therapy program at UWEC is in jeopardy. My family and I feel the lose of this program to the School, Community and the Students would be great. The Music Therapy is a gift to societies most needy. Universities tell their students to make a difference in the world. The Music Therapy Department does just that! The difference is that the Music Therapy Students are making contributions to society as they learn. How many students in UWEC daily make trips to the Local Nursing Homes, Jails, Daycares, Schools and Hospitals? I believe you will find that not only are the students learning they are contributing to the local community. When they leave UWEC with their degrees and become board certified Music Therapist, the giving then percolates into the societies they go off to. I cannot think of too many other degrees that touch the lives of needy people before they leave your university.

I have seen first hand the needs that this major fulfills. The technique of using music to reach some of these patients is a wonder to behold. Sometimes it is the only bridge that reaches them and helps not only the patient, but the families that these wonderful budding therapist interact with. I also see the fulfillment and drive that these students obtain using there talents and techniques.

Please think twice before withholding the funds that drives this program. This program is a wonderful asset to the local Eau Claire area. It also is a great testament to Professor Lee Anna Rasar efforts in molding these students into "Givers of Hope" to many in society that are ignored, shunned or abandoned.

Please feel free to call my number below if you wish to discuss anything I have said above.

Sincerely:

Gary J. Mueller
Team Facilitator
Charter Steel Melting Div.
1658 Coldsprings Rd.
Saukville WI, 53080
262-268-2443
www.muellerg@chartersteel.com

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